​Our customers and sectors (DWP)

The purity and viscosity of the dissolving wood pulp (DWP) we manufacture determines the products it goes on to make. By removing hemicellulose and controlling the cellulose chain length, Sappi can achieve cellulose content levels of 91–96% and tailor-make viscosities to meet our customers’ needs for their end product applications. This makes DWP a hugely valuable, versatile and sustainable raw material source.

End product applications of dissolving wood pulp include:

DWP is used to produce an array of intermediary products which in turn are used to produce a dynamic variety of final products. Sappi’s DWP is supplied to key market segments (albeit not to all) and we constantly evaluate opportunities in additional segments.

Cellulosic based fabrics are breathable and offer a soft, natural feel with high levels of moisture absorbency. This is in contrast to most synthetic fibre based fabrics derived from non-renewable fossil fuels.

VSF (Rayon)
By far the most prominent of the wood based cellulosic fabrics are those produced from viscose staple fibre (VSF), also known as rayon. VSF accounts for approximately 70% of global DWP production and is most commonly used in fashion, home and decorating textiles.

Another key fibre produced from Sappi’s DWP is lyocell, which represents the next generation of sustainable wood based cellulose fibres. It is a high-strength and absorbent material used for a variety of textile and non-woven applications, either on its own or as a blend with other compatible fibres.

Food, pharmaceuticals and other applications include:

Microcrystalline cellulose
A useful ingredient used by the pharmaceutical industry because of its excellent binding properties, microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) can be found in many prescription and over the counter tablets.

Ethers derived from dissolving wood pulp are used widely in the production of food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. They also have more heavy industry-related applications, such as drilling fluids, mining flotation aids and detergents. Commonly produced ethers include CMC, MC and HEC.

Cellophane is used the world over for packaging in the food industry. It offers excellent breathability and non-static properties and has become essential for preserving freshness as well as for its visual appeal for certain food groups. Cellophane is also used in the production of alkaline batteries and lithographic masking tape.

Acetate from dissolving wood pulp is used in the manufacture of fabrics and yarns as well as in plastic applications such as spectacle frames, photographic film and clothing buttons. It is mostly used for the manufacture of cigarette filters.

Please click here to view our FAQs on ‘Dissolving wood pulp’.

See for yourself why we’re the world’s largest manufacturer and seller of dissolving wood pulp (DWP). Our DWP is the market leader as a raw material for viscose and lyocell.

Find out more about the mills where Sappi Specialised Cellulose produces DWP in Southern Africa and North America.

Our strategic vision for Sappi Specialised Cellulose is to grow through differentiation.