Abstract In this paper, broad bean peels (BBP), an agricultural waste, was evaluated for its ability to remove cationic dye (methylene blue) from aqueous solutions. Batch mode experiments were conducted at 30 °C. Equilibrium sorption isotherms and kinetics were investigated. The kinetic data obtained at different concentrations have been analyzed using pseudo-first-order, pseudo-second-order and intraparticle diffusion equations. The experimental data fitted very well the pseudo-first-order kinetic model. Analysis of the temportal change of q indicates that at the beginning of the process the overall rate of adsorption is controlled by film-diffusion, then at later stage intraparticle-diffusion controls the rate. Diffusion coefficients and times of transition from film to pore-diffusion control were estimated by piecewise linear regression. The experimental data were analyzed by the Langmuir and Freundlich models. The sorption isotherm data fitted well to Langmuir isotherm and the monolayer adsorption capacity was found to be 192.7 mg/g and the equilibrium adsorption constant K a is 0.07145 l/mg at 30 °C. The results revealed that BBP was a promising sorbent for the removal of methylene blue from aqueous solutions.