We have studied the adsorption of the four isomers of butanol on silicalite and on H-ZSM-5 using an energy minimization procedure supplemented by a Monte Carlo/molecular dynamics algorithm to assist in the location of minima. The energetics and the geometries of adsorption of the butanol isomers in the pores of silicalite and H-ZSM-5 are reported. The effect of the relaxation of both the adsorbent framework and of the adsorbate molecule is investigated. Significant changes in the direction of the surface hydroxyl groups at certain crystallographic positions are induced by alcohol physisorption. For both silicalite and H-ZSM-5, similar energy values were obtained for each butanol isomer sorbed at a number of different crystallographic positions. We therefore predict that there are a range of physisorbed states for all butanols at ambient temperatures. The small variations in the adsorption energetics and sites between isomers may be explained in the terms of pore-confinement effects on the adsorption of molecules with dimensions similar to those of pentasil channels.