Polypropylene (PP) membranes incorporating poly[(ar-vinylbenzyl) trimethylammonium chloride] P(ClVBTA), and poly[sodium (styrene sulfonate)] P(SSNa) were modified via an in situ radical polymerization synthesis. Two methods were used for impregnation of the reactive solution: pressure injection and plasma superficial activation with argon gas. The following conditions were varied: the monomer concentrations, number of injections, and cross-linked concentration. The modified polypropylene membranes were then characterized using scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy, Fourier transform-infrared spectroscopy, electrokinetic potential, and Donnan dialysis for the chromium ions transport. The modified membranes exhibited a hydrophilic character with a water uptake capacity between 15% and 20% and a percent modification between 2.5% and 4.0%. This was compared with the results of an unmodified polypropylene membrane as the blank and the mentioned polypropylene membrane has not the capacity to uptake water because this kind of material is highly hydrophobic. Hexavalent chromium ions were efficiently transported by the modified membranes containing P(ClVBTA) via a plasma method and it achieved 59.2% extraction at pH 9.0 using a 1-mol L-1 NaCl extraction agent. Therefore, unmodified polypropylene membrane shows an extraction percentage close to 10% from the hexavalent chromium ions at pH 9.0. In the same way, the trivalent chromium transport using membranes modified with P(SSNa) achieved 49.0% extraction at pH 2.0 using 1 x 10(-1) mol L-1 HNO3 and 1 mol L-1 NaCl as the extraction agents. Moreover, the unmodified polypropylene membrane reached a value close to 10% from the trivalent chromium ions using 1 x 10(-1) mol L-1 HNO3 and 1 mol L-1 NaCl. (c) 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2015, 132, 41953.