A reaction between poly(4-vinylpyridiniumchloride) and poly(sodiumphosphate) in the presence and absence of NaCl and NaBr salts was studied in aqueous solution by conductometry. The interaction of polycation and polyanion gave insoluble polyelectrolyte complex which contained polycation and polyanion in unit mole ratio in a salt-free solution. A deviation from stoichiometry was observed at high polyion concentration and in the presence of NaCl and NaBr salts. The resultant complex showed swelling property in different solvent mixtures. A maximum degree of swelling was obtained in the solvent mixture of NaBr + water and NaBr + water + acetone. Furthermore, polyelectrolyte complex sorbed salts from aqueous electrolyte solutions. The sorption of salts increased with increasing salt concentration. (C) 1996 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.