AbstractThe aim of this work is to prove the suitability of a new alkaline and halo-tolerant bacterial laccase (SilA) produced by Streptomyces ipomoea CECT 3341 to enhance the conventional chemical bleaching process of an industrial eucalyptus kraft pulp. The laccase used for this study was a recombinant laccase obtained from cultures of E. coli BL21 (DE3) grown in LB liquid medium. The biobleaching experiment was carried out on Eucalyptus globulus kraft pulps using the above mentioned laccase and acetosyringone as natural mediator. Then, an alkaline extraction and further hydrogen peroxide steps were applied to evaluate the efficiency of the laccase-mediator system as a pretreatment in the bleaching sequences. Biobleached pulps showed a kappa number decrease and a brightness increase without decreasing the viscosity values significantly. Also, a reduction in the consumption of hydrogen peroxide was observed when the enzymatic treatment was applied to the pulp. CIE L*a*b* and CIE L*C* color coordinates measured in pulps demonstrated that among all treatments applied to pulps, the laccase-acetosyringone system presented the best optical properties even after an accelerated ageing process. Finally, it is also remarkable that during this treatment 64% of the laccase activity remained unaltered.