Abstract Carboxymethyl-polyaminate chitosan (DETA-CMCHS), a novel kind of amphoteric chitosan derivative, was prepared and characterized by elemental analysis, and by IR and 1H NMR spectroscopy. The adsorption behavior of Reactive Blue (RB2) on DETA-CMCHS was also studied. Results showed that the maximum value of adsorption capacity was 1185.71mg/g at pH 3. The adsorption kinetic behavior was fitted with a second-order reaction rate equation. The adsorption was an exothermic, irreversible and entropy-reduced process according to thermodynamic parameters, such as standard Gibbs free-energy change, enthalpy change, and entropy change, all of which were calculated from adsorption equilibrium data.