Paper manufacturing involves the sequential removal of water from pulp by means of gravity, vacuum dewatering, mechanical pressing and thermal drying. This research proposes a new control topology for moisture content using surrogate measurements to infer in-process moisture content, and the pressure settings in the vacuum dewatering section as actuators. The new topology has the potential to overcome the performance, robustness and energy efficiency limitations that the current process control topology has, due to a long dead-time and excessive use of the dryers. A preemptive control law was previously proposed for the new topology to decouple the upstream disturbances from propagating downstream in the process. In this paper, we develop an adaptive version of this pre-emptive controller to alleviate the need to know the dewatering coefficients precisely. The adaptive control problem has the interesting aspects that the unknown parameters are nonlinearly embedded in the error dynamics, and there is a time delay before the error in the estimated parameters can be observed.