The possible application of adsorption for the removal of lignin-related material found in wastewater generated by mechanical pulping was investigated. Activated charcoal and fly ash were used as adsorbents in batch experiments. The lignin-related material exhibited properties well-suited for adsorption onto both adsorbents, although the sorption capacity of activated charcoal exceeds that of fly ash. The experimental data were fitted to pseudo-first- and pseudo-second-order rate kinetic expressions, and an attempt was made to find the rate-limiting step involved in the adsorption processes. The results showed that lignin adsorption onto both activated charcoal and fly ash follows pseudo-second-order rate kinetics and that both boundary-layer diffusion and intraparticle diffusion are likely involved in the rate-limiting mechanisms. Adsorption is an interesting option in advanced wastewater treatment, and fly ash appears to be a suitable low-cost adsorbent for recalcitrant organic pollutants.