The CeO2@ZSM-5 was prepared by the dipping method. We used ZSM-5 and CeO2 as the carrier and load components, respectively. The aim was to reduce the low concentration of Cr(VI) in simulated wastewater (the concentration of Cr(VI) ranged from 0.2 to 1 mg/L). The characteristics of ZSM-5 and CeO2@ZSM-5 samples were determined by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (SEM-EDX), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and Brunauer–Emmett–Teller (BET). Characterization results showed that the particle size, BET surface area and pore volume for CeO2@ZSM-5 was around 0.783 nm, 421.307 m2/g and 0.313 m3/g, respectively. In addition, the optimum conditions were obtained by the orthogonal test, and the details were as follows: optimal pH, adsorbent dose, initial concentration of Cr(VI) and equilibrium time were 3, 5 g/L, 0.6 mg/L and 70 min respectively. The removal of Cr(VI) was 99.56% in these conditions. The pseudo-second-order model best described the adsorption kinetics of Cr(VI) onto CeO2@ZSM-5. Isotherm data were treated according to Langmuir, Freundlich and Temkin isotherm models. The results showed that the Freundlich adsorption isotherm model fitted best in the temperature range studied. Adsorption capacity increased with temperature, showing the endothermic nature of Cr(VI) adsorption. The desorption results showed the best recovery of Cr(VI) using 0.1 M HCl.