Lyocell Fibre Production Using NMMO – A Simulation-based Techno-Economic Analysis


  • Eemeli Hytönen Metsä Spring Oy, Revontulenpuisto 2 A, 02100 Espoo, Finland
  • Lotta Sorsamäki VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd., P.O. Box 1603, 40101 Jyväskylä, Finland
  • Erik Kolehmainen Metsä Spring Oy, Revontulenpuisto 2 A, 02100 Espoo, Finland
  • Michael Sturm Thüringisches Institut für Textil- und Kunststoff-Forschung Rudolstadt e. V., Breitscheidstraße 97, 07407 Rudolstadt, Germany
  • Niklas von Weymarn Metsä Spring Oy, Revontulenpuisto 2 A, 02100 Espoo, Finland


Lyocell, Textile fibre, NMMO, Modelling, Process simulation, Feasibility, Thermodynamic model


The demand for man-made cellulosic fibres is expected to grow in the future. One commercially-available concept to supply fibres is Lyocell manufacturing from dissolving wood pulps using N-Methylmorpholine N-oxide (NMMO) as the solvent. The literature qualitatively indicates that NMMO recycling efficiency is a key factor for profitable operation. Process design information and parameter data are however poorly available publicly to illustrate the cost factors. Therefore, systematic techno-economic analysis of a 50 kt/year Lyocell plant was conducted using steady-state process simulation and cost modeling. With the simulation models, the underlying technical process design and modelling decisions, and economic assumptions were studied. NMMO makeup need is an important cost item. The simulated makeup need is very dependent on the design of the solvent recovery system and the vapor-liquid equilibrium thermodynamic model selection. On the other hand, water use, fibre washing process design, and washing model parameterization have relatively lower impact on the cost of production. Raw material cost and capital expenses are most critical cost items when the NMMO recycling efficiency is high.






Research Article or Brief Communication