AbstractMixed US southern hardwood chips were impregnated and cooked under various conditions in the laboratory. Kappa numbers between 15 and 55 were obtained. The reject content, kappa number, and yield were studied as a function of time, temperature, and alkali charge in the cooking. The results indicate that by using modern cooking technology, i.e. CompactCookingTM, an optimal point with respect to the studied pulp parameters can be found. Selected pulps were bleached to high brightness with several different bleaching sequences. These pulps were beaten in a PFI mill and their physical properties were compared at a constant bulk. High kappa, well impregnated fully bleached pulps exhibited improved yield with equivalent or better physical properties as compared to conventional kraft pulps. The high kappa, well impregnated pulps were also found to have improved bleachability as compared to conventionally cooked, bleachable grade kappa number pulps.