Adsorption characteristics of herbicide 4-chloro-2-methylphenoxyacetic acid (MCPA) have been evaluated using bituminous shale (BS) as a model adsorbent-containing solid organic matter in a mineral matrix. The adsorption of MCPA on BS has been studied with varying concentration, temperature, pH and contact time, using batch technique. Adsorption ability of BS increases with increasing temperature and decreasing pH in the studied concentration range of (0.6-4.0) x 10(-4) M. Theoretical curves calculated from Freundlich, Dubinin-Radushkevich (D-R), Langmuir and Temkin isotherm equations show a two-step isotherm shape. The results could be explained by assuming the presence of two-type sites with different affinity on adsorbent surface. Adsorption process is endothermic and entropy controlled at the first stage, and exothermic and enthalpy controlled at the second stage. The mechanism proposed based on surface ionization and complexation model is consistent with the pH dependent experimental results. Kinetic data fit well to both Paterson's and Nernst Planck model based on homogeneous solid phase diffusion (HSPD). The values of particle diffusion coefficients (D(p) ) predicted from both models are comparable each other and independent of temperature and concentration.