The porous foam is made by the polymerisation of a high internal phase emulsion and it is a highly porous, low density, open cellular material. Surface properties of the foam were chemically modified via a sulfonation process. Sulfonation added ‒SO3‒H+ groups to the polymer matrix. The ion adsorption behavior of copper ions on sulfonated polymer beads, depending on inlet concentration (10–60 mg/L), pH of inlet solution (2.00–5.20) and flow velocity (1.7–11.4 m/h) was studied. It was shown that the amount of copper adsorbed was not affected with increasing concentration of feed solutions and flow velocity. Also the process was highly pH dependent. The maximum removal was 117.96 mg Cu/g dry adsorbent at flow velocity 11.4 m/h. Column experimental tests were conducted to provide data for theoretical modeling and to verify the system performance of the process. A theoretical column model adopted in this work was found to describe well the ion adsorption breakthrough characteristics.