Copper(II) biosorption processes by two pre-treated powdered anaerobic granular sludges (PAGS) (original sludges were methanogenic anaerobic granules and denitrifying sulfide removal (DSR) anaerobic granules) were investigated through batch tests. Factors affecting the biosorption process, such as pH, temperature and initial copper concentrations, were examined. Also, the physicochemical characteristics of the anaerobic sludge were analyzed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, scanning electron microscopy image, surface area and elemental analysis. A secondorder kinetic model was applied to describe the biosorption process, and the model could fit the biosorption process. The Freundlich model was used for describing the adsorption equilibrium data and could fit the equilibrium data well. It was found that the methanogenic PAGS was more effective in Copper(II) biosorption process than the DSR PAGS, whose maximum biosorption capacity was 39.6% lower. The mechanisms of the biosorption capacities for different PAGS were discussed, and the conclusion suggested that the environment and biochemical reactions during the growth of biomass may have affected the structure of the PAGS. The methanogenic PAGS had larger specific surface area and more biosorption capacity than the DSR PAGS. © IWA Publishing 2013.