Ultra-fast toxic metal removal using a hybrid and nanostructured vaterite-poly(ethyleneimine) (NV-PEI) is reported. Especially for Pb 2+ , an extremely high and fast adsorption capacity without precedents is observed. Within a 3 min contact time (CT), 97-100% of Pb 2+ contaminant in water samples at pH 6, with a large concentration range (from 2 to 1000 ppm) and using a dosage of 0.5 g NV-PEI per L, has been removed. The maximum adsorption capacity (q max ) calculated for a 1500 ppm Pb 2+ initial concentration was 2762 mg of Pb 2+ per g NV-PEI. In addition to the excellent Pb 2+ removal, this material is cheap, easy to synthesize, biocompatible, and biodegradable, which makes it superior to others reported to date and an attractive alternative for the treatment of industrial wastewaters. This journal is © the Partner Organisations 2014.