Open-celled polymeric foam monoliths prepared by high internal phase emulsion polymerization (HIPE) are being investigated
as improved materials for separation of heavy metals. In column flow studies, the foam monoliths have high flow rates and
are durable up to at least 40 psi. A 4-vinylpyridine functionality has been incorporated into vinylbenzylchloride/styrene
copolymer foams by graft-polymerization of vinylpyridine. The open structure of the foam and the flexible graft-polymerized
ion-exchange chains result in improved kinetics in metal uptake. Iron uptake kinetics were greatly increased in the grafted
foams over resin beads of similar structure. Plutonium uptake kinetics were moderately increased in the foams.