Lignite was used to prepare activated carbon (T3K618) by chemical activation with KOH. Pore properties of the activated carbon such as BET surface area, pore volume, pore size distribution, and pore diameter were characterized by t-plot based on N-2 adsorption isotherm. BET surface area of activated carbon is determined as 1000 m(2)/g. Adsorption capacity of malachite green (MG) onto T3K618 activated carbon was investigated in a batch system by considering the effects of various parameters like initial concentration (100, 150 and 200 mg/L) and temperature (25, 40 and 50 degrees C). The adsorption process was relatively fast and equilibrium was reached after about 20 min for 100, 150 mg/L at all adsorption temperature. Equilibrium time for 200 mg/L was determined as 20 min and 40 min at 298, 313 and 323 K, respectively. Simple mass and kinetic models were applied to the experimental data to examine the mechanisms of adsorption and potential rate controlling steps such as external mass transfer, intraparticle diffusion. Pseudo second-order model was found to explain the kinetics of MG adsorption most effectively. It was found that both mass transfer and pore diffusion are important in determining the adsorption rates. The intraparticle diffusion rate constant, external mass transfer coefficient, film and pore diffusion coefficient at various temperatures were evaluated. The activation energy (E-2) was determined as 48.56, 63.16, 67.93 kJ/mol for 100, 150, 200 mg/L, respectively. The Langmiur and Freundlich isotherm were used to describe the adsorption equilibrium studies at different temperatures. Langmiur isotherm shows better fit than Freundlich isotherm in the temperature range studied. The thermodynamic parameters, such as Delta G degrees, Delta S and Delta H degrees were calculated. The thermodynamics of dyes-T3K618 system indicates endothermic process. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.