Abstract Selective transport of lead(II) cation across a bulk liquid membrane(BLM) containing dicyclohexano-18-crown-6 (DC18C6) as carriers has been studied. Various factors that affect the transport efficiency of this heavy metal cation have been optimized in order to obtain maximum transport. It has been observed that in the presence of EDTA as stripping agent and triton X-100 as sufficient surfactant in the receiving phase and at the optimum pH of 5, lead can transport with recovery 101±2%. The carrier can selectively and efficiently transport Pb(II) cation from aqueous solutions containing other interfering cations. A possible application of this carrier system and transport process to the preconcentration and recovery of Pb(II) cation from real samples has also been examined.