Trametes versicolor basidio spores immobilized onto carboxymethylcellulose were used for the removal of cadmium ions from aqueous solutions. The biosorption of Cd(II) ions on carboxymethylcellulose and both immobilized live and heat-killed fungal mycelia of T. versicolor was studied from aqueous solutions in the concentration range of 30-700 mg/L. The biosorption of Cd(II) ions by the carboxymethylcellulose and both immobilized live and heat-inactivated immobilized preparations increased as the initial concentration of cadmium ions increased in the medium. Maximum biosorption capacity for immobilized live and heat-inactivated fungal mycelia of T. versicolor was found as 124 and 153 mg Cd(II)/g, respectively whereas the amount of Cd(II) ions adsorbed on the plain carboxymethylcellulose beads was 43 mg/g. Biosorption equilibria were established in about I h and the correlation regression coefficients show that the adsorption process can be well defined by Langmuir equation. The temperature change between 15 and 45 degreesC did not affect the biosorption capacity. The effect of pH was also investigated and the maximum adsorption of Cd(II) ions on the carboxymethylcellulose and both live and heat-inactivated immobilized fungal mycelia were observed at pH 6.0. The carboxymethylcellulose-fungus beads could be regenerated using 10 mM HCl, with up to 98% recovery. The biosorbents were used in five biosorption-desorption cycles and no notable loss in the biosorption capacity was observed. 84% and 68% of cadmium ions were removed from synthetic waste water samples for 100 and 200 mg/L initial concentrations, respectively. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.