Abstract: The nature of Cr(NH3)63+ and Cr(en)33+(en = ethylenediamine) adsorbed on chlorite, illite, and kaolinite has been studied by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). The interaction of the chromium complexes with the clays began at pH 3. During the 7-day interaction time the pH of the complex-clay suspension increased to 8 for illite and chlorite. For kaolinite the pH increased to about 3.6 with Cr(NH3)63+ and to 6.4 with Cr(en)33+. These pH changes appear to be associated with a clay-catalyzed hydrolysis of the chromium-amine complexes. XPS binding-energy data for adsorbed chromium indicate that the dominant species are chromium aqua complexes. Nitrogen/chromium atom ratios, calculated from the XPS photopeak intensities, are less than 6:1 for complexes adsorbed on the clays, suggesting that chromium complexes are initially adsorbed but subsequently hydrolyze to produce aqua-chromium surface species.