In the present work mercury has been eradicated from its aqueous solution using papain, immobilized on activated charcoal by physical adsorption method. Operating parameters for adsorption of papain on activated charcoal like pH, amount of activated charcoal, initial concentration of papain in solution have been varied in a suitable manner for standardization of operating conditions for obtaining the best immobilized papain sample based on their specific enzymatic activity. The immobilized papain sample obtained at initial papain concentration 40.0 g/L, activated charcoal amount 0.5 g and pH 7 shows the best specific enzymatic activity. This sample has been designated as charcoal-immobilized papain (CIP) and used for further studies of mercury removal. Adsorption equilibrium data fit most satisfactorily with the Langmuir isotherm model for adsorption of papain on activated charcoal. Physicochemical characterization of CIP has been done. The removal of mercury from its simulated solution of mercuric chloride using CIP has been studied in a lab-scale batch contactor. The operating parameters viz., the initial concentration of mercury in solution, amount of CIP and pH have been varied in a prescribed manner. Maximum removal achieved in the batch study was about 99.4% at pH 7, when initial metal concentration and weight of CIP were 20.0 mg/L and 0.03 g respectively. Finally, the study of desorption of mercury has been performed at different pH values for assessment of recovery process of mercury. The results thus obtained have been found to be satisfactory. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.