In this work, three polymeric resins were examined as alternatives for the separation of hemicellulose and lignin. The aim was to remove the lignin from spent-sulfite-liquor (SSL) prior to ultrafiltration, producing a hemicellulose-rich retentate with high purity, and increase the capacity of the membrane filtration. The lignin in the SSL was sulfonated; thus, two of the resins were anion exchangers and 1 was hydrophobic. The data from the equilibrium studies and adsorption kinetics were fitted to established models, and the results were interpreted based on these observations. The strongly basic anion exchanger performed best with regard to lignin removal. The adsorption followed the Sips isotherm, indicating that the process was cooperative with chemisorption as the main reaction between the adsorbate and adsorbent based on the kinetics. Regeneration of the adsorbent was also possible, wherein 100 g/L NaCl was sufficient to recover 98% of the lignin. The lignin removal had a positive effect on the ultrafiltration process, in which the flux increased by 38% and the extent of separation between the hemicellulose and lignin rose from 17% to 59%.