Selective oxidative dehydrogenation of readily available alkanes to the corresponding alkenes is an industrially important process. Oxidative dehydrogenation of propane yields propylene which is used in the preparation of polypropylene. The host institute has recently demonstrated that the addition of V205 and Nb205 to titania supported molybdenum oxides, used in the conversion of propane to propylene, leads to an increase in activity of the catalyst when compared with that of the unpromoted material. In addition this increase in activity was achieved without any loss of selectivity. The proposed project aims to identify the factors responsible for the increased activity of this molybdena system using infrared experimental techniques and 51V solid state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Other methods for surface studies including scanning and transmission electron microscopy will also be used to examine the reactant/catalyst surface interactions. It is expected that this new data will enable us to characterize the active centres in the oxidative dehydrogenation reaction over the molybdenum oxide catalyst and that in combination with previous results will make the rational design of catalyst material and additives more realisable.