Contamination of environment with heavy metals such as cadmium, cobalt, copper, nickel and manganese is becoming a major problem due to their toxicity persistency and bioaccumulation tendency. Cellulose fibers extracted from Oil Palm Empty Fruit Bunches (OPEFB) were surface modified using esterification method with Acetic acid and Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) for sorption of heavy metals such as copper, nickel and manganese from water. The effects of metal ion concentrations (100 – 1000 ppm), initial pH (4-8) of metal solution and contact time (15min-3h) on sorption capacity were studied. EDTA- modified cellulose showed better adsorption capacity due to the existence of four carboxylic acid groups that capture the metal ions. Increasing pH value and metal ion concentration also resulted in increased sorption.