SO CLOSE (1969-79)

Neil Franks and Julianna Varga of American Enka created a process to derive “higher concentrations of cellulose” in an amine oxide solution. In the end, this new solution made the process more economically friendly as it increased the amount of fiber per batch. Another chemist at American Enka, Clarence C McCorsley III developed the commercial potential further by finding a way to feed the solution (dope) through an extruder. This made it possible to spin it into a yarn. American Enka would stop research in 1981 due to engineering concerns and economic viability. They will return to the lyocell race later but as part of Akzo Nobel.