In this study, a nano sponge Mn2O3 adsorbent was synthesized and was used for the first time. Various parameters affecting the recovery values of Pd(II) and Rh(III) were examined. The tolerance limits (>= 90%) for both Pd(II) and Rh(III) ions were found to be 75,000 mg L-1 Na(I), 75,000 mg L-1 K(I), 50,000 mg L-1 Mg(II) and 50,000 mg L-1 Ca(II). A 30 s contact time was enough for both adsorption and elution. A preconcentration factor of 100 was obtained by using 100 mg of the nano sponge Mn2O3. The reusability of the adsorbent was 120 times. Adsorption capacities for Pd(II) and Rh(III) were found to be 42 and 6.2 mg g(-1), respectively. The detection limits were 1.0 mu g L-1 for Pd(II) and 0.371 mu g (L-1) for Rh(III) and the relative standard deviations (RSD, %) were found to be <= 2.5%. The method was validated by analyzing the standard reference material, SRM 2556 (Used Auto Catalyst Pellets) and spiked real samples. The optimized method was applied for the preconcentration of Pd(II) and Rh(III) ions in water (sea water and wastewater), rock, street sediment and catalytic converter samples. (C) 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.