Abstract Partial oxidation of 1,3-butadiene has been investigated on V 2O 5/Al 2O 3/Al-coated catalysts having regular pore textures. The preparation of the coated catalysts by means of anodic oxidation of aluminum wire and subsequent impregnation of the Al 2O 3 layers is described. The catalysts were characterized by the textural parameters surface area, pore length, and pore diameter as well as by the contents of aluminum, vanadium, and sulfur. The alumina layers possess amorphous structures and regular pore systems, in which the layer thickness corresponds to the pore length. In the oxidation of butadiene a total of 33 organic oxidation products have been identified, including maleic anhydride as the major product and among others phthalic anhydride, crotonaldehyde, and butenedial. The dependence of selectivity on conversion has been determined for products which are crucial for the mode of formation of the major reaction product maleic anhydride. Based on these results, reaction schemes for the formation of maleic anhydride and of phthalic anhydride have been proposed.