The adsorption of the organic anionic dye Congo red (CR) by montmorillonite saturated with Na+, Cs+, Mg2+, Cu2+, Al3+ and Fe3+ was investigated by XRD of unwashed and washed samples after equilibration at 40% humidity and after heating at 360 and at 420°C. The clay was treated with different amounts of CR, most of which was adsorbed. Clay samples, untreated with CR, after heating showed collapsed interlayer space. Unwashed and washed samples, which contained CR, before heating were characterized by three peaks or shoulders, labeled A (at 0.96-0.99 nm, collapsed interlayers), B (at 1.24-1.36 nm) and C (at 2.10-2.50 nm). Peak B represents adsorbed monolayers of water and dye anions inside the interlayer spaces. Peak C represents interlayer spaces with different orientations of the adsorbed water and organic matter. Diffractograms of samples with small amounts of dye were similar to those without dye showing peak B whereas diffractograms of most samples with high amounts of dye showed an additional peak C. Heated unwashed and washed samples were also characterized by three peaks or shoulders, labeled A' (at 0.96 nm), B' (at 1.10-1.33 nm) and C' (at 1.61-2.10 nm), representing collapsed interlayers, and interlayers with charcoal composed of monolayers or multilayers of carbon. When the samples were heated from 360 to 420°C some of the charcoal monolayers underwent rearrangement to multilayers. In the case of Cu the charcoal decomposed and oxidized. The present results show that most of the adsorbed dye was located inside the interlayer space.