The catalytic properties of vanadium oxide catalysts supported on TiO2 from Tioxide were strongly affected by phosphorus and potassium, present as impurities in the TiO2 support. The effects observed were stronaly dependent on the type of hydrocarbon oxidised. In the oxidation of toluene to benzoic acid the impurities had a large negative influence on the activity and maximum yield. For the oxidation of o-xylene to ohthalic anhydride this negative effect was only observed at relat- ively low vanadium contents. At higher contents (above monolayer coverage) improved catalytic properties were obtained for catalysts supported on the contaminated TiO2 support. When the phosphorus and potassium impurities were both largely removed by extraction with water optimum catalytic behaviour was achieved at much lower vanadium contents in both oxidation reactions. The effect of each of the two impurities separately was also investigated using vanadium oxide catalysts deliberately contaminated with various amounts of either phosphorus or potassium. From the results of the catalytic oxidation experiments it was concluded that the addition of phosphorus resulted in an increase of the surface acidity of vanadium oxide/TiO2 catalysts. The effect of potassium was much larger and was attributed to an alternation of the nature of the reactive sites, possibly because of the formation of amorphous bronzes.