Clay¿Al hydroxide polymers (CAlHO) can bind heavy metals effectively and may play an important role in the adsorption behaviour and metal binding capacity of soils. We studied the dependence of Al loading and pH on the adsorption of Zn on Na-saturated montmorillonite¿Al hydroxide polymer systems. The available binding sites on Al hydroxide polymers (AlHO) had a very strong affinity for Zn ions. Zinc binding on the clay surface became important when the binding sites on the AlHO were nearly all occupied. The pH had a very strong effect on the Zn binding. At pH 6.6 much more Zn could be adsorbed to the AlHO than at pH 5.0. The effect of the Al:clay ratio on Zn binding was influenced by pH. At pH 6.6, Zn binding to the AlHO, expressed per mole AlHO, was independent of the Al:clay ratio, whereas at pH 5.0 this relation was dependent. This is related to the constant charge of the AlHO at pH 6.6, whereas at pH 5.0 the charge decreases with increasing Al:clay ratio. If clay¿Al hydroxide polymers are present in the soil their Zn binding to the AlHO will strongly influence the availability of the Zn.