Abstract: The hydrothermal synthesis of kaolinite was examined in the Al2O3-SiO2-H2O system to study inhibitory effects of additional ions on the formation of kaolinite. Syntheses were carried out with amorphous starting materials and salt solutions of various concentrations in Teflon pressure vessels at 220°C for 5 days. The reaction products were characterized by XRD, IR, DTA-TG, NMR and TEM. In all of the runs using solutions with cation concentrations less than 0.001 M, no significant effect on the formation of kaolinite was observed. The inhibitory effect of the univalent cations Li+, Na+ or K+ was less than that of divalent cations such as Mg2+ or Ca2+. The addition of trivalent Fe3+ or excess Al3+ ions interfered with the formation of kaolinite significantly. Sulfate and acetate solutions interfered with the formation of kaolinite more than chlorides and nitrates. No crystalline product was obtained using a 1.0 M basic solution of carbonate or hydroxide. The addition of the lithium ion to the system affected the crystallization of kaolinite only slightly. The use of 0.1 M LiCl and LiNO3 solutions for the syntheses improved crystallization of kaolinite along the  direction.