The adsorption technique is widely applied for the removal of pollutants from wastewater, especially for toxic or non-biodegradable wastewater. In recent years, the production of alternative adsorbents to replace costly adsorbents has been paid more attention to in literature. Polyaniline/beidellite (PAn + Bei) composite material as an absorbent, which is efficient and low cost can easily be prepared via H2SO4, KIO3 and aniline. This paper deals with color and total organic carbon (TOC) removal of biologically treated bakery yeast wastewater (BYW) using the PAn + Bei composite material by adsorption processes. The effects of experimental variables were chosen as the initial pH (pH(i)), sorbent dosage (m(s)), contact time (t(c)) and mixing speed (s) by a batch sorption process. It was found that by increasing the adsorbent dosage (0.025-0.400 g/50 ml of composite dosage), contact time (2-240 min) and decreasing the pH(i) (9-3) improved the color and TOC removal efficiencies. The optimum color and TOC removal efficiencies were obtained as 88.7% and 63.3% at 0.400 g/50 ml of adsorbent dosage, a pH(i) of 3, 240 rpm, and 240 min. In addition, a pseudo-second order kinetic model was proposed to correlate the experimental data. To understand the removal mechanism and characterize the surface of the PAn + Bei composite material, size exclusion chromatography (SEC), BET surface analysis, fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) analysis, scanning electron microscope (SEM), thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA), and differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) were employed. As a consequence, the proposed mechanism for the removal by PAn + Bei composite material seems to be driven by an ion exchange process. (C) 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.