The basic oxygen furnace waste generated in steel plant has been used as a low cost adsorbent for the removal of Pb(II) from aqueous solution. The effect of pH, adsorbent dosage, initial metal ion concentration, contact time and temperature on adsorption process was studied in batch experiments. Results of the equilibrium experiments showed that the solution pH was the key factor affecting the adsorption characteristics. Optimum pH for the adsorption was found to be 5 with corresponding adsorbent dosage level of 5 g/L. The equilibrium was achieved within 1 h of contact time. Kinetics data were best described by pseudo second order model. The effective particle diffusion coefficient of Pb(II) is the order of 10-10 m2/s. The maximum uptake was 92.5 mg/g. The adsorption data can be well fitted by Freundlich isotherm. The result of the equilibrium studies showed that the solution pH was the key factor affecting the adsorption. External mass transfer analysis was also carried out for the adsorption process. The thermodynamic studies indicated that the adsorption is spontaneous and endothermic. The sorption energy (10.1745 kJ/mol) calculated from Dubinin-Radushkevich isotherm indicated that the adsorption process is chemical in nature. Desorption studies were carried out using dilute mineral acids to elucidate the mechanism of adsorption. Application studies were carried out considering the economic viewpoint of wastewater treatment plant operations. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.