Poly(Hydroxyethylmethacrylate-Ethyleneglycoldimethacrylate), poly(HEMA-EGDMA), microbeads with 150-200 mu m in size, was prepared by suspension polymerization. beta-cyclodextrin was modified onto the polymeric microbeads using glutaraldahyde activation in an acidic medium at pH = 2.5. FT-IR and TGA were used for the characterization of modified polymers and the determination of the nature of the interaction between phenolic Compounds and the modified polymeric microbeads. Plain and beta-cyclodextrin modified microbeads were used in adsorption-desorption studies of phenolic species in single solution. Adsorption capacities of the phenolic species onto the plain microbeads were found to be 28.2, 17.0, 14.3, 9.8, and 1.92 mg/g polymer for o-chloro phenol, p-nitro phenol, p-chloro phenol, o-nitro phenol, and phenol, respectively. However, for beta-cyclodextrin modified microbeads, adsorption capacity of phenolic species was determined as 274, 365, 128, 182, and 87 mg/g for phenol, o-nitro phenol, p-nitro phenol, o-chloro phenol, and p-chloro phenol, respectively. Desorption ratio for the phenolic species was more than 90%, except for o-nitro phenol. Detection limits of the phenolic species were improved at least 500-fold for UV-Vis spectrophotometric detection, after the pre-concentration of all phenolic species used in this study. Adsorption time for the phenolic species onto beta-cyclodextrin-modified poly(HEMA-EGDMA) microbeads was found to be reasonable short (10-60 min) and suitable for the applications. Also, synthesized microbeads were useful for the repeated use for the removal and preconcentration of phenolic species. (c) 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.