The general name for a group of soft clay minerals,
hydrous calcium-sodium aluminium-magnesium-iron silicate. The minerals are
moisture-sensitive clays weathered out of igneous rocks, and are a common
constituent of soil. It has been shown to function as a catalyst
in the formation of RNA oligomers. Montmorillonite
is used in the paper industry for “carbon-less” copying paper.
It is white, yellowish, or gray. Hardness 1-2; relative density 2.5
AND PLANETARY SCIENCE