Magnetite-mesoporous silica composites were synthesized as a new adsorbent for desulfurization from natural gas. They were prepared by a simple procedure using pre-made magnetite as seeds for the formation of mesoporous silica. The domain size of the composite was reduced significantly, comparing with the case that no magnetite was added. This composite shows high capacity for a removal of methylmercaptane in the presence of methane while mesoporous silica or magnetite only had little capacity. The sulfur adsorption of this composite shows 20 times higher capacity than the mesoporous silica due to the synergetic effect of strong molecular affinity of the magnetite to the sulfur compound and large surface area/pore volume of the mesoporous silica. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.