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During recent years, the traditional pulp and papermaking business in Europe has been striving to find new viable applications for wood fibres. The target has been to improve the value and properties of traditional fibres and fibre products and to find new applications for wood fibres that would support much-needed growth in the industry. However, the natural properties of the fibres limit their use in many applications. Fibre functionalization by bonding of new compounds to the fibres is a method to produce fibres with altered properties.
An interesting option is targeted modification of fibre surface lignin via enzymatic radical formation with oxidative enzymes. The reactive radicals generated on the fibre surface can be utilised in the bonding of new compounds. In order to exploit the laccase-based functionalization method, deep understanding of factors affecting the formation of phenoxy radicals in fibres is needed. The main aim of this thesis was to elucidate the effects of laccase treatments on softwood TMPs and their fractions. Furthermore, potential utilisation of the radicals formed by laccase-catalysed oxidation in fibre functionalization was assessed.