AbstractThe adsorption of xylan on pulp fibers improves the strength properties of paper. However, the optical properties are decreased significantly. The objective of our research was to bleach hardwood kraft pulp with adsorbed birch xylan by hydrogen peroxide and study the effect of bleaching parameters on paper properties. The bleaching parameters studied included bleaching temperature, time, initial pH as well as MgSO4 dosage. The optical properties (whiteness, brightness, opacity) and physical properties (tensile index, tearing index, bulk) of handsheets made from the pulp bleached with different process variables were measured. The results showed that better optical properties were obtained with higher bleaching temperature, longer bleaching time, and more MgSO4 dosage. Bleaching from an initial pH of 11 provided the highest brightness value. On the other hand, strength properties were improved with decreasing of the bleaching temperature, and increasing the initial pH and MgSO4 dosage. The relationship between strength properties and bleaching time varied depending on bleaching temperature. According to the results, both good mechanical properties and optical properties could be achieved when the operating parameters were controlled properly. Therefore hydrogen peroxide bleaching was proved to be a suitable method for bleaching hardwood kraft pulp with adsorption of birch xylan.