AbstractThe biobleaching efficiency of xylanase and laccase enzymes was studied on kraft pulps from wood and nonwood based raw materials employed in the Indian paper industry. Treatment of these pulps with xylanase enzyme could result in improved properties, showing 2.0% ISO gain in pulp brightness and/or reducing the demand of chlorine-based bleach chemicals by up to 15% with simultaneous reduction of 20 to 25% in AOX generation in bleach effluents. Further, mill-scale trial results revealed that enzymatic prebleaching can be successfully employed with xylanases to reach the same bleach boosting efficacy. Laccase bleaching was also studied on hardwood pulp at a pH around 8.0, where most of the pulp mills in India are operating, in contrast to earlier studies on laccase enzyme bleaching, which were conducted at acidic pHs, i.e. 4.0 to 5.0. In case of laccase bleaching, interesting results were found wherein a bleach-boosting effect was observed even at pH 8.0. Further studies carried out with HOBT as mediator in comparison to the commonly used and expensive ABTS laccase mediator system (LMS) resulted in improvement of the bleaching efficiency with reduction in demand of chlorine dioxide by more than 35%. Potential for further reduction was indicated by the brightness gain, when compared with a control using the DE(p)D bleach sequence.