The use of porous materials to eliminate volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has proven very effective towards achieving sustainability and environmental protection goals. The activity of zeolites and macro–mesoporous metal-oxide supports in the total oxidation of VOCs has been investigated, with and without noble-metal deposition, to develop highly active catalyst systems where the formation of by-products was minimal. The first catalysts employed were zeolites, which offered a good activity in the oxidation of VOCs, but were rapidly deactivated by coke deposition. The effects of the acido-basicity and ionic exchange of these zeolites showed that a higher basicity was related to exchanged ions with lower electronegativities, resulting in better catalytic performances in the elimination of VOCs. Following on from this work, noble metals were deposited onto macro–mesoporous metal-oxide supports to form mono and bimetallic catalysts. These were then tested in the oxidation of toluene to study their catalytic performance and their deactivation process. PdAu/TiO2 and PdAu/TiO2-ZrO280/20 catalysts demonstrated the best activity and life span in the oxidation of toluene and propene and offered the lowest temperatures for a 50 % conversion of VOCs and the lowest coke content after catalytic testing. Different characterization techniques were employed to explain the changes occurring in catalyst structure during the oxidation of toluene and propene.