Adsorbent (T(3)K618) has been prepared from Tuncbilek lignite 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. The N-2 adsorption isotherm of malachite green on T(3)K618 is type I. The BET surface area of the adsorbent which was primarily contributed by micropores was determined 1000 m(2)/g. T(3)K618 was used to adsorb malachite green (MG) from an aqueous solution in a batch reactor. The effects of initial dye concentration, agitation time, initial pH and adsorption temperature have been studied. It was also found that the adsorption isotherm followed both Freundlich and Dubinin-Radushkevich models. However, the Freundlich gave a better fit to all adsorption isotherms than the Dubinin-Radushkevich. The kinetics of adsorption of MG has been tested using pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order and intraparticle diffusion models. Results show that the adsorption of MG from aqueous solution onto micropores T(3)K618 proceeds according to the pseudo-second-order model. The intraparticle diffusion of MG molecules within the carbon particles was identified to be the rate-limiting step. The adsorption of the MG was endothermic (Delta H degrees = 6.55-62.37 kJ/mol) and was accompanied by an increase in entropy (Delta S degrees = 74-223 J/mol K) and a decrease in mean value of Gibbs energy (Delta G degrees = -6.48 to -10.32 kJ/mol) in the temperature range of 20-50 degrees C. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.