Activated carbon was employed as the adsorption carrier for the metal ions in HCl solution of red mud, a solid waste produced in alumina industry. To improve the adsorption capacity to valuable metal ions, the activated carbon was modified by chemicals including HNO3, H2O2, H2SO4, H3PO4, NH3, Na2CO3, and tri-butyl phosphate (TBP). It was found that the modifications contributed the high adsorption capacity to almost all metal ions we focused on. In the case of TBP, remarkably higher adsorption capacity and selectivity of Sc3+ was observed. The correlation between the surface areas, IR spectra of those chemically modified activated carbons and adsorption was schemed.