The adsorption of Hg(II) from aqueous solution at 293 K by activated carbons obtained from apricot stones, furfural and coals was studied. Adsorption studies were performed under the varying conditions of time of treatment, metal ion concentration and pH. The process of adsorption followed Langmuir isotherm. The removal of Hg(II) increased with the increase of pH of the solution from 2 to 5 and remained constant up to pH 10. Desorption studies were preformed. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.