AbstractIn this study, secondary sludge (SS) from a kraft paper mill was used as a source of biomass to recover protein and investigate its potential use as a wood adhesive. The process of protein recovery involved disruption of the floc structure in alkaline medium to disintegrate and release intercellular contents into the aqueous phase followed by separation of soluble protein. Finally, the soluble protein was subjected to low pH precipitation and the pelletized sludge protein, referred to as recovered sludge protein (RSP) was tested for crude protein, moisture, and other contents. A significant process yield of 90% in terms of precipitation of soluble protein from disintegrated sludge was estimated through calorimetric studies, whereas an overall material balance confirmed a RSP yield of up to 23% based on total suspended solids of raw sludge. The RSP containing 30% crude protein was used as a wood adhesive and its adhesion performance was compared with soy protein isolate (SPI) and phenol formaldehyde (PF) resin. The testing of plywood lap joints has shown up to 41% shear strength level of RSP adhesive compared to PF. This work demonstrates the technical feasibility and potential of SS as a biomass resource to develop eco-friendly adhesives for wood composite applications.