Purified melanin pigment from Klebsiella sp. GSK was characterized by thermogravimetric, differential thermal, X ray diffraction and elemental analysis. This melanin pigment is structurally amorphous in nature. It is thermally stable up to 300oC and emits a strong exothermic peak at 700oC. Its carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen composition is 47.9%, 6.9% and 12.0%, respectively. It was used to scavenge metal ions and free radicals. After immobilizing the pigment and using it to adsorb copper and lead ions, the metal ion adsorption capacity was evaluated by atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS) and the identity of melanin functional groups involved in the binding of metal ions was determined by Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy. Batch adsorption studies showed that 169 mg/g of copper and 280 mg/g of lead were adsorbed onto melanin-alginate beads. The metal ion adsorption capacity of the melanin-alginate beads was relatively significant compared to alginate beads. The metal ion desorption capacity of HCl was greater (81.5% and 99% for copper and lead, respectively) than that of EDTA (80% and 71% for copper and lead, respectively). The ability of the melanin pigment to scavenge free radicals was evaluated by inhibition of the oxidation of 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) and 2,2`-azino-bis(3-ethylbenzothiazoline-6-sulfonic acid) (ABTS) and was shown to be about 74% and 98%, respectively, compared with standard antioxidants.