A nonwoven fabric made of polypropylene coated by polyethylene was used as the trunk polymer in the preparation of a highly efficient new adsorbent. Metal ion uptake capacity has been aimed to be increased by introducing double amidoxime groups per repeating unit of the chains grafted to trunk polymer. The base polymer was irradiated by electron beams with a dose of 200 kGy under N-2 atmosphere and glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) was grafted onto irradiated nonwoven fabric. Grafting conditions were optimized, and GMA-grafted polymer was modified with 3,3-iminodipropionitrile in ethanol at 80 degrees C. GMA grafting (150%) was determined to be the optimum degree given that higher extent of grafting rendered the materials brittle. Pendant nitrile groups were then amidoximated by using 6%, hydroxylamine in methanol-water mixture (1 : 1). The all-polymeric structures were characterized by using FTIR, SEM, and thermal analysis methods, confirming the grafting, modification, and amidoximation stages gravimetrically, spectroscopically, and visually. (c) 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.