A new adsorbent was prepared by radiation-induced graft polymerization of dimethylaminoethylmethacrylate (DMAEMA) onto polyethylene/polypropylene (PE/PP) nonwoven fabric. The trunk polymer was irradiated by electron beam at a voltage of 2 MeV and a current of 3 mA in nitrogen atmosphere at dry-ice temperature to different doses. The degree of grafting was determined as a function of irradiation dose, monomer concentration, temperature and reaction time. Grafting conditions were optimized and about 150% grafted samples were used for further experiments. DMAEMA grafted polymer was later protonated in acid solution to prepare specialty adsorbent for the removal of phosphate. Adsorption experiments were performed in column mode for removal of phosphate. It was shown that 2000 bed volumes of phosphate-free water can be produced from 100 ppb phosphate (as P) solution at high space velocity. (C) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.