The removal of phenol (Ph) and 2-chlorophenol (2-CPh) from aqueous solution by native and heat inactivated fungus Funalia trogii pellets were investigated. The effects of contact time, solid/liquid ratio, optimum pH and temperature on the phenols removal capacity by the pellets were established. The removal efficiency of phenols increased significantly with increasing biomass dose. The optimum pH was detected to be 8.0. The second-order equations are described and evaluated on the basis of a comparative estimation of the corresponding coefficients. The phenol removal equilibrium isotherm was modeled by the Langmuir equations. The enthalpy change values were obtained between 7.62 and 10.64 kJ/mol. This indicated that the uptake of phenols either on native or heat inactivated fungal pellets was based on a physical adsorption process. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.