Abstract The catalytic oxidation of volatile organic compounds such as benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and o-xylene (BTEX) over novel Pt/carbon nanotube (CNT) catalysts fabricated by a molecular-level mixing method was investigated at temperatures ranging from 40 to 150°C. The Pt/CNT interface was probed by scanning electron microscopy (SEM), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) to elucidate the binding nature of the Pt nanoparticle-CNT surface. The breakthrough curves for multi-component mixtures show displacement effects, in which adsorbates exhibit interaction forces that are sufficiently to displace weakly bounded substances during adsorption. Catalytic oxidation was conducted using a BTEX concentration ranging from 100 to 500ppmv in air at volume hour space velocities (VHSVs) of approximately 7.5×104h−1–3.4×105h−1. The light-off curves were very steep, and complete oxidation was realized at temperatures as low as 115°C with 30wt% Pt/CNT, well below the temperatures required using previously studied Pt-based catalysts. The oxidation activity was presumably promoted because of the higher surface BTEX concentration afforded by the adsorption capability of multiwalled carbon nanotubes. The catalyst was characterized by its unique hydrophobic property, which facilitated the conversion of BTEX with high activity at relatively low temperatures and was unaffected by moisture in the system.