: In this study, the mechanisms of methylparaben adsorption onto activated carbon (AC) are elucidated starting from equilibrium and thermodynamic data. Adsorption tests are carried out on three ACs with different surface chemistry, in different pH and ionic strength aqueous solutions. Experimental results show that the methylparaben adsorption capacity is slightly affected by pH changes, while it is significantly reduced in the presence of high ionic strength. In particular, methylparaben adsorption is directly dependent on the micropore volume of the ACs and the π- stacking interactions, the latter representing the main interaction mechanism of methylparaben adsorption from liquid phase. The equilibrium adsorption data are complemented with novel calorimetric data that allow calculation of the enthalpy change associated with the interactions between solvent-adsorbent, adsorbent-adsorbate and the contribution of the ester functional group (in the methylparaben structure) to the adsorbate⁻adsorbent interactions, in different pH and ionic strength conditions. It was determined that the interaction enthalpy of methylparaben-AC in water increases (absolute value) slightly with the basicity of the activated carbons, due to the formation of interactions with π- electrons and basic functional groups of ACs. The contribution of the ester group to the adsorbate-adsorbent interactions occurs only in the presence of phenol groups on AC by the formation of Brønsted⁻Lowry acid⁻base interactions.