The heavy metals, such as uranium and vanadium, are some of the valuable metals in desalination effluents. Metal Chelate Embedded Polymers (MCEP) in leaflet form were prepared using the post-irradiation induced graft polymerisation technique, with different non-woven thermally bonded fibrous substrate materials. The novel sorbents, synthesised by using accelerator energy beams of 1.25 MeV and 2 MeV, were characterised for their radiation, chemical and mechanical characteristics. The novel sorbent was evaluated under different parametric conditions, in order to study the influence of grafting levels, initial concentration, dissolved solids and contact time. The standard isotherm and diffusion models were fitted to the experimental sorption data and model parameters were evaluated. The sorption characteristics of MCEP for recovery of heavy metals such as uranium and vanadium from desalination effluents were investigated. © 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.