FINDING A SOLUTION (1966-69)
The chemical solution for lyocell was first patented by Dee Lynn Johnson. He was experimenting with different acetate solutions in order to find a cheaper film alternative for Eastman Kodak. In the process, he found that dissolving cellulose in amine oxide would strengthen paper. The 1969 patent claims, the “highly preferred” amine oxide is, “cyclic mono(N-methylamine-N-Oxide) compound” or NMMO. He also claims an increased wet and dry tensile strength when certain anime oxides (including NMMO) are used. NMMO is also part of the process to dissolve blended cotton/polyester fabrics for reuse.