The catalytic oxidation of several hydrocarbons was studied over noble metal and metal oxide catalysts. A fast empirical method was developed to determine the minimum operating temperature required to guarantee complete conversion of the hydrocarbon. The influence of the operating parameters such as the inlet concentration and residence time, as well as the chemical character of the component to be oxidized, have been investigated. The results can be described satisfactorily by a simple isothermal, plug flow reactor model and first-order reaction kinetics. In the case of simultaneous oxidation of different components a significant mixture effect was not observed. The presence of water in the feed did significantly inhibit the oxidation of alkanes. Of the applied catalysts, Pt was the most effective for the combustion of the alkenes, whereas Pd showed a higher activity for the oxidation of alkanes.