The adsorption characteristics of Cu(II) and Pb(II) onto expanded perlite (EP) from aqueous solution were investigated with respect to the changes in pH of solution. adsorbent dosage, contact time and temperature of solution. For the adsorption of both metal ions, the Langmuir isotherm model fitted to equilibrium data better than the Freundlich isotherm model. Using the Langmuir model equation, the monolayer adsorption capacity of EP was found to be 8.62 and 13.39 mg/g for Cu(II) and Pb(II) ions, respectively. Dubinin-Radushkevich (D-R) isotherm model was also applied to the equilibrium data and the mean free energies of adsorption were found as 10.82 kJ/mol for Cu(II) and 9.12 kJ/mol for Pb(II) indicating that the adsorption of both metal ions onto EP was taken place by chemical ion-exchange. Thermodynamic functions, the change of free energy (Delta G degrees). enthalpy (Delta H degrees) and entropy (Delta S degrees) of adsorption were also calculated for each metal ions. These parameters showed that the adsorption of Cu(II) and Pb(II) ions onto EP was feasible, spontaneous and exothermic at 20-50 degrees C. Experimental data were also evaluated in terms of kinetic characteristics of adsorption and it was found that adsorption process for both metal ions followed well pseudo-second-order kinetics. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.