Abstract The adsorption isotherms of (−)- and (+)-methyl mandelate from a hexane-isopropanol (90:10) solution were measured on a chromatographic column packed with 4-methylcellulose tribenzoate coated on silica. These isotherms are accounted for by a bi-Langmuir isotherm model, the two Langmuir terms having widely different initial slopes and saturation capacities, but each term having the same saturation capacity for the two enantiomers. The competitive isotherms were also measured. They are in excellent agreement with the prediction of a competitive bi-Langmuir model based on the single-component isotherms. The individual band profiles are in agreement with the profiles calculated from these isotherms. Thus, a simplified competitive isotherm can be used to model a separation on a chiral stationary phase the recognition mechanism of which is not well identified and the adsorption behavior of which is certainly not ideal.