The adsorption and oxidation of acetaldehyde on carbon supported Pt, Pt90Sn10 and Pt80Sn10M10 (M = Ni, Co, Rh, Pd) catalysts have been investigated by using in situ Fourier transform infrared (FIR) spectroscopy. The result revealed that Pt90Sn10/C catalyst is not very efficient for the conversion of acetaldehyde to CO2 due to the weak adsorption of acetaldehyde in the presence of Sn. However, the addition of a third metal to Pt-Sn facilitates the C C bond cleavage of acetaldehyde. It seems that acetaldehyde is adsorbed dissociatively on the surface of Pt80Sn10Ni10/C, Pt80Sn10Co10/C, Pt80Sn10Rh10/C catalysts, producing CH3 and CHO adsorbate species, which can be further oxidized to CO2. However, the pathway forming CO2 for Pt80Sn10Pd10/C catalyst mainly originates from the oxidation of CH3CO species. Thus, the presence of third metal in the PtSn catalyst has a strong impact upon the acetaldehyde adsorption behaviour and its reaction products. (C) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.