The adsorption behavior of poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) fibers towards copper(II), cobalt(II), and iron(III) ions in aqueous solutions was studied by a batch equilibriation technique. Influence of treatment time, temperature, pH of the solution, and metal ion concentration on the adsorption were investigated. Adsorption values for metal ion intake followed the following order: Co(II) > Cu(II) > Fe(III). One hour of adsorption time was found sufficient to reach adsorption equilibrium for all the ions. The rate of adsorption was found to decrease with the increase in the temperature. Langmuir adsorption isoterm curves were found to be significant for all the ions studied. The heat of adsorption values were calculated as -5, -2.8, and -3.6 kcal/mol for Cu(II), Co(II), and Fe(III) ions, respectively. (C) 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.