This study investigated the removal of chemical oxygen demand (COD) from electroplating industry wastewater via batch adsorption by purified and polymers functionalized carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as nano-adsorbents. Bimetallic Fe-Co supported on CaCO3 was utilized to produce multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) via the catalytic chemical vapor deposition (CCVD) technique. This was subsequently followed by the purification of the as-prepared MWCNTs by a mixture of HNO3 and H2SO4 in order to remove the support and metal particles. The purified MWCNTs was further functionalized using known mass of the following polymers: Amino polyethylene glycol (PEG), polyhydroxylbutyrate (PHB) and amino polyethylene glycol with polyhydroxylbutyrate (PEG-PHB). The purified (P-CNTs) and functionalized CNTs coded PEG-CNTs; PHB-CNTs, and PEG-PHB-CNTs were characterized by HRSEM, HRTEM-EDS, BET, XRD and XPS. The electroplating wastewater was subjected to physicochemical characterization before and after treatment with various prepared nano-adsorbents using standard methods. The adsorption process under the influence of contact time, adsorbent dosage and temperature was measured using the chemical oxygen demand (COD) as indicator parameter. The HRSEM/XRD/BET confirmed that the purified and polymer functionalized CNTs were homogeneously dispersed; highly graphitic in nature with fewer impurities and of high surface area (>145 m2/g). The order of maximum COD removal by the nano-adsorbents at equilibrium time of 70 min are as follows: PEG-CNTs (99.68%) > PHB-CNTs (97.89%) > P-CNTs (96.34%) > PEG/PHB-CNTs (95.42%). Equilibrium sorption data were better described by Freudlich isotherm with the correlation coefficient (R2>0.92) than Langmuir isotherm. The adsorption kinetics for COD removal from electroplating wastewater fitted well to the pseudo-second-order model with rate constant in the range of 4 × 10-5-1 × 10-4 (g mg-1 min-1). Thermodynamics analysis of the adsorption process revealed that the enthalpy (ΔH°) of the reaction was positive and endothermic in nature. The Gibbs free energy (ΔG°) was negative which showed the feasibility and spontaneity of adsorption process. The findings from this study support the potential use of PEG-functionalised CNTs as a nanoadsorbent to purify electroplating wastewater than others prepared sorbents. © 2017 Published by Elsevier B.V.