A new tamarind-based resin containing nitrilotriacetic acid group was synthesized. The nitrilotriacetic acid group has been incorporated onto tamarind by a modified Porath's method of functionalization of polysaccharides. Tamarind nitrilotriacetic acid (TNTAA) resin can selectively separate heavy metal ions from industrial effluent. The TNTAA resin was characterized by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy. The distribution coefficient (Kd) of metal ions at different pH was studied using batch equilibration method. The effects of pH, treatment time, and adsorbent dose, on the removal of metal ions from industrial effluent were investigated. The resin is amenable for continuous process and can be regenerated several times. The adsorption of different metal ions on TNTAA resin follows the order: Fe (II) > Zn (II) > Cu (II) > Cd (II) > Pb (II). © 2011 American Institute of Chemical Engineers Environ Prog, 32: 103–108, 2013.