In this investigation, the hybrid of ZrO2 decorated rGO functionalised carbon foam (ZRCF) as template has been introduced for removing arsenic (V) (As(V)) contamination from the water and easily separated out from water after post decontamination without any separation techniques. An excellent arsenic (As(V)) removal efficiency of 45.4μgg−1 in 60 min has been revealed by prepared ZRCF treated at 300 °C in air. Further probing the adsorption mechanism, both linear and nonlinear kinetics and isotherm models have been employed on the experimental data. It is revealed that the fitted linear kinetics data better explains the PSO kinetics and linear adsorption isotherm describes the best fitting of equilibrium data in Langmuir isotherm based on the regression coefficient (0.98) and χ2 (7.40) value. The present investigation is evaluated the adsorption mechanism between adsorbate and adsorbent such as electrostatic attraction, HSAB reaction and bi-dentate ligand formation. © 2020 Elsevier B.V.