Environmentally friendly microwave heating process was applied to the dissolution of cellulose in N-methylmorpholine-N-oxide (NMMO) with 105-490 W and 2450 MHz microwave energy until the dissolution completed. Microwave heating caused the decrease in the dissolution time and energy consumption. Cellulose/NMMO/water solutions with different cellulose concentrations were converted to the membrane to measure the crystallinity and degree of polymerization. It was shown that microwave heating with the power of 210 W is an alternative heating system for dissolution of cellulose in NMMO. The membranes obtained with two different heating methods showed the same crystallinity and degree of polymerization. As a result, microwave heating has an advantage in shortening reaction times, compared to conventional heating. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.