AbstractWood pulp waste is a type of industrial waste that has an enormous potential for fermentable sugar production. Efficient pretreatment is the key for enhancing the enzymatic efficiency. In this paper, sodium hydrogen sulfite pretreatment was performed on wood pulp waste to improve enzyme performance through sulfonation and hydrolysis reactions. Results showed that the enzymatic efficiency was greatly enhanced from 5.12 to 41.6% in terms of reducing sugar yield (RSY) under the optimum conditions: 6% NaHSO3, 2500 P-factor, 3/1 liquid to solid ratio, and cellulase charge of 35 FPU/g substrate. Mass balance showed that approximately 73% of glucose was recovered. The mechanism of sulfonation and hydrolysis of sodium hydrogen sulfite pretreatment were confirmed by Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction (X-RD), and scanning electron microscopy (SEM).