The adsorption of Cr(VI) from aqueous solutions on sawdust (SD), base extracted sawdust (BESD) and tartaric acid modified sawdust (TASD) of Turkish red pine tree (Pinus nigra), a timber industry waste, was studied at varying Cr(VI) concentrations, adsorbent dose, modifier concentration and pH. Batch adsorption studies have been carried out. Sawdust was collected from waste timber industry and modified with various amount of tartaric acid (TA) (0.1-1.5 M). The batch sorption kinetics has been tested and the applicability of the Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption isotherms for the present system has been tested at 25 +/- 2 degrees C. Under observed test conditions, the equilibrium adsorption data fits the linear Freundlich isotherms. An initial pH of 3.0 was most favorable for Cr(VI) removal by all adsorbents. Maximum Cr(VI) was sequestered from the solution within 120 min after the beginning for every experiment. The experimental result inferred that chelation and ion exchange is one of the major adsorption mechanisms for binding metal ions to the SD. Percentage removal of Cr(VI) was maximum at the initial pH of 3.0 (87.7, 70.6 and 55.2% by TASD, BESD, and SD, respectively). Adsorption capacities range from 8.3 to 22.6 mg/g for SD samples. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.