In this study, selective separation and preconcentration of phosphate ions on the phosphate-imprinted chitosan-succinate beads have investigated. Chitosan-succinate, phosphate, epichlorohydrin were used as the complexing monomer, template and crosslinking agent, respectively. In the first step, chitosan was modified with succinic anhydrides and complex formation occurred between carboxylic acid functional groups and iron(III) ions. Secondly, Fe(Ill)-chitosan-succinate particles were reacted with phosphate ions. Afterwards, particles were crosslinked with epichlorohydrin and the template (phosphate ions) was removed using I M KOH solution. Selective cavity for the phosphate ion was obtained in the phosphateimprinted metal-chelate polymer.These phosphate- i mpri nted metal-chelate polymer was used in the adsorption-desorption process. The adsorption process was fast and equilibrium was reached around 30 min.The adsorption behaviour of this system was described approximately by the Langmuir equation. Percent extraction, distribution ratio and selectivity coefficients of phosphate and other ions using non-imprinted and phosphate-imprinted polymer were also determined and comparison of these data was reported. (c) 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.