Almond shell based adsorbents were thermally modified by cold plasma and microwave radiation for improving adsorption ability of Eriochrome Black T. The maximum adsorption capacities were 6.02, 18.18, and 29.41 mg/g for untreated, cold plasma and microwave radiation treated almond shell, respectively. The removal percentages of EBT compared with untreated almond shell were increased from 39.96% to 81.46% and 84.31% after modification by cold plasma and microwave radiation treatments, respectively. SEM, FT-IR spectroscopy and point of zero charge measurement were applied to analysis the almond shell surface. Data on equilibrium were evaluated by using Langmuir and Freundlich models. (c) 2013 The Korean Society of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.