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Methane oxidation was carried out over CeO2, ZrO2 and CeO2–ZrO2 solid solution and it has been found that almost total oxidation is favorable over the CeO2 catalyst but partial oxidation is possible over both ZrO2 and CeO2–ZrO2 catalysts with a CH4/O2 ratio of 2. The CeO2–ZrO2 catalyst performed partial oxidation of methane with good activity in the initial stage of the reaction, but it deactivated with time on stream. It is speculated that oxygen vacancies in reduced CeO2–ZrO2 solid solution activate CH4 molecules to produce synthesis gas and O2 molecules supplied from the reactant will change the oxidation state of Ce from 3+ to 4+ resulting in the catalyst deactivation.