Abstract Well-dispersed Pd nanoparticles (PdNPs) supported on graphene sheets were successfully prepared by a simple one-pot process, in which the reduction of Poly Vingl Pyrrolidone-functionalized graphite oxide and Pd precursor was carried out simultaneously using ascorbic acid as a soft reductant. The Pd nanoparticles decorated graphene composite (PdNPs/PVP-graphene) was characterized by X-ray diffraction, transmission electron microscopy, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. Morphology and structure characterizations directly showed that Pd nanoparticles with crystallite size of about 8.5nm were evenly formed on graphene. Catalysis activity as in fuel cells was investigated by further electrochemical experiments including cyclic voltammograms and chronoamperometric measurements. Compared to the commercial Vulcan XC-72 supported Pd nanoparticles, PdNPs/PVP-graphene exhibits superior electrocatalytic activity and stability toward electro-oxidation of alcohols, showing its potential use as new electrode material for direct alcohol fuel cells (DAFCs).