Abstract The reaction of benzene and ethylbenzene has been studied over Ru/Ni/Beta and Ru/Sn/MCM-22 under 0.2–1 MPa, in the temperature range of 150–230 °C and WHSV of 2–64 h −1. The main reaction pathways included benzene and ethylbenzene hydrogenation towards cyclohexane and ethylcyclohexane, hydroalkylation into cyclohexylbenzene, ethylcyclohexylbenzenes and diethylcyclohexylbenzenes and formation of ethylbiphenyls or diethylbiphenyls followed by hydrogenation. The major reaction products were para- and meta-ethylcyclohexylbenzenes. The best catalyst performance was obtained over Ru/Ni/Beta at 170 °C, 1 MPa, WHSV of 2 h −1 and H 2/benzene/ethylbenzene = 2/1/1. The conversion of benzene and ethylbenzene over this catalyst was 78%, while selectivity to ethylcyclohexylbenzene amounted to 42%.