The dataset presented here are collected for tailoring biochars from pinecone biomass through chemical modification for the adsorption of natural organic matter (NOM) from lake water. The data includes schematics, figures and tables. The characterization of biomass and tailored biochars by Brunauer, Emmett and Teller surface area measurement (BET), thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) along with the adsorption of NOM from lake water by the tailored bichars and the desorption using alkaline solution are provided. This is complimentary dataset for the experimental set-up and data gathered related to the article  on biochar fabrication and lake water treatment. See this article  for further information and discussion.