Preparation of the activated carbons from sunflower oil cake by sulphuric acid activation with different impregnation ratios was carried out. Laboratory prepared activated carbons were used as adsorbents for the removal of methylene blue (MB) from aqueous solutions. Liquid-phase adsorption experiments were conducted and the maximum adsorption capacity of each activated carbon was determined. The effects of various process parameters i.e., temperature, pH, initial methylene blue concentration, contact time on the adsorption capacity of each activated carbon were investigated. The kinetic models for MB adsorption onto the activated carbons were studied. Langmuir isotherm showed better fit than Freundlich isotherm for all activated carbon samples. The rates of adsorption were found to conform to the pseudo-second-order kinetics with good correlation. The separation factor (R(L)) revealed the favorable nature of the isotherm of the MB activated carbon system. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.