AbstractMagnesium aluminum hydroxides (MAH) of nitrate and carbonate forms were prepared by co-precipitation, dried at different temperatures, and employed as an adsorbent for pitch and stickies in papermaking. Results indicated that MAH that had been heat-treated had higher adsorption capacity to model pitch and stickies at neutral pH. Low-temperature-dried magnesium aluminum hydroxides of nitrate form (MAH-NO3) had higher adsorption capacity to model pitch and model stickies than those of the carbonate form (MAH-CO3). Increasing the drying temperature of MAH reduced the difference of adsorption capacity between MAH-NO3 and MAH-CO3. Higher-temperature-dried magnesium aluminum hydroxides also showed higher adsorption capacity to model pitch and stickies when the drying temperature was lower than 550 oC. MAH displayed higher adsorption capacity while a lower initial adsorption rate of model stickies than of model pitch. The model pitch and stickies were adsorbed on MAH significantly by charge neutralization and distributed mainly on the surface of the platelets of magnesium aluminum hydroxides. The experimental isothermal adsorption data of model pitch and stickies on MAH dried at 500 oC fit well to the Freundlich and Dubinin–Radushkevich isotherm equations.