Main Article Content
During the bleaching process the pulp is treated with chemical reagents that can be retained in the pulp and interfere in the action of the optical brighteners. Different bleaching sequences can produce pulps at the same brightness but with different potential to whiteness increase when treated with optical brighteners. The objective of this study was to evaluate the influence of the bleaching sequence on the efficiency of disulphonated and tetrasulphonated optical brighteners. Eucalyptus kraft pulp was bleached using four different bleaching sequences. For each pulp three brightness targets were aimeds. For each bleaching sequence mathematical model was generated for predicting the final pulp whiteness according to the initial brightness and the optical brightener charge applied. The presence of organochlorine residues in the pulp reduced the effectiveness of the optical brighteners. Therefore, bleaching sequences that use low chlorine dioxide charge favors for greater gains in whiteness with the application of optical brighteners. The replacement of the final chlorine dioxide bleaching stage with a hydrogen peroxide one in the sequence increased the efficiency of the optical brightening agents.