Crosslinked poly(4-vinyl pyridine) resin 'Reillex(R) 425' has been quaternized almost quantitatively with 2-chloroacetamide in DMF solvent. The quaternized resin with 4.03 mmol g(-1) quaternization density is an efficient sorbent for selective mercury extraction from aqueous solutions. About 4 mmol g(-1) mercury loading capacity of the resin implies that met sorption takes place mostly by formation of monoamido-mercury structures. Only negligible amounts (about 0.1 mmol g(-1)) of foreign ions Ca(II), Mg(II), Zn(II), Cd(II), Pb(II) and Fe(III) with 0.15 M concentrations are absorbed by the resin. The mercury sorption is rapid enough and shows first order kinetics (k = 2.38x10(-3) s(-1) from H-Cl-2 solution). The quaternized resin can be regenerated by stripping of the sorbed mercury with hot acetic acid. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.