Aluminum [Al(III)] adsorption onto dye-incorporated poly(ethylene glycol dimethacrylate-hydroxyethyl methacrylate) [poly(EGDMA-HEMA)] microspheres was investigated. Poly(EGDMA-HEMA) microspheres, in the size range of 150-200 mu m, were produced by a modified suspension polymerization of EGDMA and HEMA. The reactive dyes (i.e., Congo Red, Cibacron Blue F3GA and Alkali Blue 6B) were covalently incorporated to the microspheres. The maximum dye load was 14.5 mu mol Congo Red/g, 16.5 mu mol Cibacron Blue F3GA/g and 23.7 mu mol Alkali Blue 6B/g polymer. The maximum Al(III) adsorption on the dye microspheres from aqueous solutions containing different amounts of Al(III) ions were 27.9 mg/g, 17.3 mg/g and 12.2 mg/g polymer for the Congo Red, Cibacron Blue F3GA and Alkali Blue 6B, respectively. The maximum AI(III) adsorption was observed at pH 7.0 in all cases. Non-specific Al(III) adsorption was about 0.84 mg/g polymer under the same conditions. High desorption ratios (95%) were achieved in all cases by using 0.1 M HNO3. It was possible to reuse these dye-incorporated poly(EGDMA-HEMA) microspheres without significant losses in the Al(III) adsorption capacities. (C) 1997 Elsevier Science B.V.