A new sulfonamide containing cellulose based sorbent was prepared in three steps; poly (acrylonitrile) (PAN) grafting onto cellulose by redox polymerization method, amination of PAN grafted cellulose with ethylenediamine, and sulfamidation with benzene sulfonyl chloride. The resulting polymeric sorbent, which had a sulfonamide content of 3.4 mmol/g, was effective for the removal of mercury ions from aqueous solutions. The mercury sorption capacity of the sorbent is around 1.95 mmol/g under non-buffered conditions. The experiments performed under identical conditions with some metal ions reveal that Cd(II), Mg (II), Zn(II), and Fe(III) ions are also extractable in low quantity (0.02-0.46 mmol/g). The sorbed mercury can be eluted by repeated treatment with hot acetic acid.