In this study, cobalt and lead based mixed oxide catalysts were tested for their soot oxidation ability. In addition to a mixed oxide formerly marketed as ceramic paint, a home made set was also prepared by incipient wetness impregnation of a cobalt oxide powder with a lead acetate solution and subsequent calcination. The materials investigated in this study were shown to decrease the peak combustion temperature of home made soot from 500 to 385 degrees C in air. Soot oxidation tests under inert (N-2) atmospheres revealed that the oxidation took place by using the lattice oxygen of the catalyst. Reaction temperature could be further decreased when these mixed oxide catalysts were impregnated with platinum. An optimum platinum loading was determined as 0.5 wt% based on the peak combustion temperature of the soot. The role of Pt was to assist the oxygen transfer from the gas phase to the lattice. It was observed that NO2 is a better oxidizing agent as compared to air whereas NO had hardly any activity against soot oxidation reaction. When the mixed oxide catalyst was impregnated with platinum, the peak combustion temperature was measured as 310 degrees C in the presence of NO, and air. The catalyst's unique performance was in terms of the rate of soot oxidation. Under the experimental conditions studied here, the soot oxidation was so facile that the oxygen in the gas phase was completely depleted. This stream of oxygen depleted and CO enriched gas phase can be used to reduce NO, in the presence of a downstream or a co-catalyst. (0 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.