AbstractThe main challenge in the oxygen delignification process is the improvement of selectivity. To further understand the effect of the amount of hydroxyl radicals on the selectivity of oxygen delignification, in this work, the hydroxyl radicals were generated by the improved Fenton reaction system and were quantified by UV spectrophotometry. Antioxidants such as ascorbic acid were applied for the scavenging of hydroxyl radicals so that the amount of hydroxyl radicals could be regulated. The bamboo kraft pulps were treated with the Fenton system or the Fenton system combined with ascorbic acid. The results indicated that the improved Fenton reaction system could be used for the determination of hydroxyl radicals by UV spectrophotometry. The amount of hydroxyl radicals could be regulated to a suitable extent by the hydroxyl radical scavengers during oxygen delignification so that the delignification selectivity improvement was achieved.