The hexavalent chromium biosorption onto untreated and heat-, acid- and alkali-treated Lentinus sajor-caju mycelia. were studied from aqueous solutions. The particles sizes of the fungal mycelia ranged from 100 to 200 mu m. The effect of pH, temperature, biosorbent dose, initial concentration of chromium ions, contact time parameters were investigated in a batch system. Biosorption equilibrium was established in about 4 h. The surface charge density of the fungal preparations varied with pH, and the maximum absorption of chromium ions on the fungal preparations were obtained at pH 2.0. The biosorption of chromium ions by the tested fungal preparations increased as the initial concentration of chromium ions increased in the medium. The maximum biosorption capacities of the untreated and heat, HCI- and NaOH-treated fungal biomass were 0.363, 0.613, 0.478 and 0.513 mmol Cr6+ per gram of dry biomass, respectively. The correlation regression coefficients and the Langmuir constant values show that the biosorption process can be well defined by Langmuir equation. The chromium adsorption data were analysed using the first- and the second-order kinetic models. The first-order equation is the most appropriate equation to predict the biosorption capacities of all the fungal preparations. In addition, the polarity and surface energy of the untreated and all the modified biomass film preparations were determined by contact angle measurement. All the tested fungal biomass preparations could be regenerated using 0.1 M NaOH solution. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.