Elution of nickel ions from alginate beads was studied in a temperature range of 2 to 80°C and a sulfuric acid concentration between 0.005 to 2.5 g L-1. The elution mechanism was established by ion exchange between nickel and ions protons, obtaining a value of 93% elution at a temperature of 80°C and a H2SO4 concentration of 0.25 g L-1. The influence of other acids on nickel elution was also studied. The nickel elution rate was significantly influenced by temperature and concentration of H2SO4. Elution kinetics of nickel ions was studied, and the 1-(1-α)1/3=kappt model properly described the kinetics of this reaction. The dependence of nickel elution on the sulfuric acid concentration was of the order of 0.33. Moreover, the intrinsic rate constants were determined and an activation energy value of 54.5 kJ mol-1 was obtained for the temperature range studied. The results indicated that the nickel elution is a process controlled by chemical reactions.