The effects of acid and Al concentration, type of Al salt, treatment temperature and time of removal of Mg from sepiolite have been investigated, as has the use of modified sepiolite as an active fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) matrix. The samples were characterized by N2 adsorption and X-ray diffraction. Mg removal from sepiolite increased with increasing acid and Al ion concentration, treatment time and temperature. The temperature had the greatest impact on Mg removal. After acid and Al modification, 29% of the Mg was removed. When using the modified sepiolites as active matrices in FCC catalysts, the specific surface area, pore volume and mesoporous pore volume of the catalysts increased and they exhibited excellent performance in resisting the effects of heavy-metals as a result of the introduction of Mg oxide from the modified sepiolite.