Herein, we prepared Cu(II)-modified hierarchical ZSM-5 containing both micro- and mesopores by alkali treatment followed by ion exchange as an adsorbent, using it for tetracycline (TC) removal from aqueous solutions. The crystal structure, morphology, texture, and Si:Al ratio of this adsorbent by a range of instrumental techniques were investigated. Moreover, we studied the effect of pH and Cu(II) loading on adsorption performance and probed adsorption kinetics, thermodynamics and regeneration performance, revealing that modification of hierarchical ZSM-5 with Cu(II) not only significantly increased its TC removal efficiency but also allowed for good regenerability and suggested that the highly efficient and selective removal of TC from aqueous solutions could be ascribed to not only the strong interactions between Cu(II) and TC molecular but also the larger mesoporosity.

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