AbstractThe influence of a chelating surfactant, different foaming agents, cationic polyelectrolytes, pH value, and temperature on the purification efficiency of process waters from a mechanical pulp mill has been studied by flotation in a 1 L customized unit. Turbidity measurements and gas chromatography (GC) were carried out to determine the removal and characteristics of dissolved and colloidal substances (DisCo). The manganese ion content in the process waters before flotation and the metal chelate removal capacity by flotation were determined by Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) and Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (AAS) measurements. It was found that a 99% removal of complex bound manganese ions and a 94% decrease in turbidity of the TMP water produced at the laboratory can be achieved in a single-stage flotation with a chelating surfactant and a foaming agent. Furthermore, a 91% decrease in turbidity, the removal of up to 96% of resin and fatty acids, and 93% of triglycerides from TMP water can be obtained after application of a foaming agent.