Abstract The catalytic performance of Pt, PtSn and PtGe supported on ZnAl2O4 obtained by mechanochemical synthesis (MS) or coprecipitation (COPR) is studied in the production of 1-decene from the n-decane dehydrogenation. The effect of preparation methods and Sn and Ge addition to Pt on the activity and selectivity was analyzed. The catalytic characterization was carried out by using XRD, Specific surface area, 2-propanol dehydration reaction, equilibrium pH, cyclohexane dehydrogenation (CHD), cyclopentane hydrogenolysis (CPH), TPR, H2 chemisorption, XPS, TPO, and TEM. Characterization studies indicate that the addition of Sn to the Pt metal phase modifies not only the catalytic properties, but deactivation and stability as well. PtSn catalysts on both spinels were more active, with lower activity fall than PtGe ones and the higher the Sn loading, the more noticeable this effect. Besides, PtSn catalysts supported on ZnAl2O4 MS showed a more stabilizing effect.