Biosorptive treatment of contaminated solutions with different biomaterials has been extensively studied in recent years. However, application of the suggested biosorbents in industrial scale has been very limited so far. Real wastewater conditions play an important role in the commercial success of the biosorption process. This study describes the potential use of Thamnidium elegans (T. elegans) cells for the biosorptive treatment of real industrial wastewater. Biosorption mechanism was characterized by zeta potential, Brunauer, Emmett and Teller (BET), Infrared (IR) spectrometry, Atomic force microscopy (AFM) and elemental analysis. A quadratic model was built for the batch process and optimum values of variables were recorded as pH 2.0, biosorbent amount: 0.06 g and contact time: 39.3 min with the removal yield of 99.42%. Isotherm studies indicated that the process follows the Langmuir model. Relatively fast decolorization (40 min) process was well described by the pseudo-second-order kinetics. Conversely, the biosorbent exhibited high biosorption efficiency (97.55%) in continuous mode. In addition to high batch biosorption capacity (288.08 mg g(-1)) of the biosorbent, another impressive aspect of this study, even after ten regeneration cycles, is high biosorption yield (95%). Consequently, T. elegans cells showed great potential for the treatment of colored real wastewaters. (C) 2016 Institution of Chemical Engineers. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.