An alkaline active xylanase, XynBYG, was purified from an alkaliphilic Bacillus pumilus BYG, which was newly isolated from paper mill effluent. It had an optimum pH of 8.0-9.0, and showed good stability after incubated at pH 9.0 for 120 min. The optimum temperature for the activity was 50°C, and the enzyme retained below 55% of its original activity for 30 min at 55°C. The gene coding for XynBYG consists of 687 bp and encodes 229 amino acids. Similarity analysis indicated that XynBYG belong to family 11 glycosyl hydrolases. Site-directed mutagenesis was performed to replace five sites (Tyr/Ser) to Arg/Glu and the results demonstrated that the optimum temperature of the mutant Y7 (S39R-T146E) increased 5°C and the half-life of inactivation (T1/2) at 60 and 65°C was 1 h and 25 min, respectively. Thus, it provides a potential xylanase that can meet the harsh conditions in the industrial applications.