Abstract The stability of methane conversion was studied over a Pd/Al 2O 3 catalyst and bimetallic Pd–Pt/Al 2O 3 catalysts. The activity of methane combustion over Pd/Al 2O 3 gradually decreased with time, whereas the methane conversion over bimetallic Pd–Pt catalysts was significantly more stable. The differences in combustion behavior were further investigated by activity tests where additional water vapor was periodically added to the feed stream. From these tests it was concluded that water speeds up the degradation process of the Pd/Al 2O 3 catalyst, whereas the catalyst containing Pt was not affected to the same extent. DRIFTS studies in a mixture of oxygen and methane revealed that both catalysts produce surface hydroxyls during combustion, although the steady state concentration on the pure Pd catalyst is higher for a fixed temperature and water partial pressure. The structure of the bimetallic catalyst grains with a PdO domain and a Pd–Pt alloy domain may be the reason for the higher stability, as the PdO domain appears to be more affected by the water generated in the combustion reaction than the alloy. Not all fuels that produce water during combustion will have stability issues. It appears that less strong binding in the fuel molecule will compensate for the degradation.