A hydrotalcite-supported platinum (Pt/HT) catalyst was found to be a highly active and selective heterogeneous catalyst for glycerol oxidation in pure water under atmospheric oxygen pressure in a high glycerol/metal molar ratio up to 3125. High selectivity toward glyceric acid (78 %) was obtained even at room temperature under air atmosphere. The Pt/HT catalyst selectively oxidized the primary hydroxyl group of 1,2-propandiol to give the corresponding carboxylic acid (lactic acid) as well as glycerol. The activity of the catalyst was greatly influenced by the Mg/Al ratio of hydrotalcite. Glycerol conversion increased with increasing the Mg/Al ratio of hydrotalcite (from trace to 56 %). X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) measurements indicated that the catalytic oxidation activity was proportional to the metallic platinum concentration, and more than 35 % of metallic platinum was necessary for this reaction. TEM measurements and titration analysis by using benzoic acid suggested that the solid basicity of hydrotalcite plays important roles in the precise control of platinum size and metal concentration as well as the initial promotion of alcohol oxidation.