Hematite, a type of inorganic-sorptive medium, was used for the removal of U (VI) from aqueous solutions. Variables of the batch experiments including solution pH, contact time, initial concentration, temperature, calcium and magnesium ions were studied. The results indicated that the adsorption capacities are strongly affected by the solution pH, contact time and initial concentration. A higher pH favors higher U (VI) removal. The adsorption was also affected by temperature and calcium and magnesium ions, but the effect is very weak. The maximum adsorption capacity (q<inf>m</inf>) only increased from 3.36 mg g<sup>-1</sup> to 3.54 mg g<sup>-1</sup> when the temperature was increased from 293 K to 318 K. A two-stage kinetic behavior was observed in the adsorption of uranium (VI): very rapid initial adsorption in a few minutes, followed by a long period of slower uptake. It was found that an increase in temperature resulted in a higher uranium (VI) loading per unit weight of the sorbent. The adsorption of uranium by hematite had good efficiency, and the equilibrium time of adsorbing uranium (VI) was about 6 h. The isothermal data were fitted with both Langmuir and Freundlich equations, but the data fitted the former better than the latter. The pseudo-first-order kinetic model, pseudo-second-order kinetic model and intraparticle diffusion model were used to describe the kinetic data, but the pseudo-second-order kinetic model was the best. The thermodynamic parameter ΔG<sup>0</sup> were calculated, the negative ΔG<sup>0</sup> values of uranium (VI) at different temperatures confirmed the adsorption processes were spontaneous. ©2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.