Abstract: The reaction of benzene with exchangeable Cu(II) and Fe(III) in hectorite clay films was studied by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR). The reaction when carried out in a sealed tube between 60° and 100°C produced a variety of organic radical products. The nature of these products depended on the concentration of water in the reaction medium and the reaction time. The free radicals were accompanied by a reduction in the oxidation state of the metal ions; this process had a zero-order dependence on the metal ion concentration. The activation energies determined from the zero-order rate constants are 67 ± 11 kJ/mole (Cu(II)) and 46 ± 6 kJ/mole (Fe(III)). The free radicals initially formed under anhydrous conditions appeared to populate sites in the interlayer region; the activation energies determined for this first order process are 57 ± 9 kJ/mole (Cu(II)) and 42 ± 3 kJ/mole (Fe(III)). These activation energies are within experimental error of those determined from the metal ion kinetics. The EPR signal due to organic radicals showed little temperature dependence; thus, exchange processes involving organic free radicals were probably not important in determining EPR lineshapes.