FT-IR spectroscopy has been used to characterise natural loughlinite and the adsorption of pyrimidine. A comparison of the spectra of loughlinite and sepiolite are given. The adsorption of pyrimidine was on the loughlinite Lewis acid cites through the pyrimidine lone pairs. Moreover. some of the adsorbed pyrimidine molecules may coordinate to surface SiOH groups. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.