This paper presents the results of a research on cadmium removal by alginate beads from an aqueous solution in an air-lift reactor. The research focused on the ability of alginate to establish an unstable coupling between cadmium and ionogenic groups of this polysaccharide. Cadmium removal by the alginate beads took place in the air-lift reactor in two phases: sorption and desorption.. The efficiency of cadmium uptake by the alginate beads in the air-lift reactor was investigated in relation to the influent concentration of cadmium amounting to 5, 10, 50 mg Cd+2? dm 3 at flow rates of 2 and 4 L ? min-1. The efficiency varied from 48.5% to 91.9% depending on the sorption duration. Cadmium recovery from the alginate beads was achieved by reducing pH up to 1.8 by 0.5 M nitric acid. The efficiency of cadmium recovery amounted to 59.8 - 96.0 %.