AbstractKraft pulping is the most commonly used pulping process in the pulp and paper industry. In this process wood chips are chemically delignified using sodium sulfide and sodium hydroxide. Delignification is usually followed by mechanical fiberization and a bleaching process of the resulting wood pulp. In addition to lignin-free wood pulp, this process also produces waste that contains residues of used chemicals, lignin, cellulose, hemicelluloses, and small amounts of other wood components. Because of the worldwide large-scale production of paper, the sludge from paper mills contributes significantly to environmental pollution. Although there have been great efforts being made to utilize this lignin-rich material, sludge is mostly disposed in landfills or incinerated in a boiler. This research project used secondary sludge as a substrate for 7 wood-decay fungi taxonomically belonging to the genus Trichoderma. The examined fungi expressed the capability of consuming sludge components as a carbon source to produce extracellular proteins. The proteins were separated by gel electrophoresis. Before and after fungi cultivation, the sludge was analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR).