Catalytic oxidation/degradation of phenol with molecular oxygen in aqueous medium by Zirconia, zirconia supported metals and metal oxides at low temperature were studied in a three necked batch reactor. The catalysts prepared were characterized by modern techniques like XRD, SEM and EDX. The activities of different catalysts for the oxidation of phenol in aqueous medium were found to be in the order; Pt-Pd/ZrO2 > Bi-Pt/ZrO2 > Bi-Pd/ZrO2> Pt/ZrO2 > Pd/ZrO2 > Cu/ZrO2> Mn/ZrO2 > Bi/ZrO2. The enhanced catalytic activity of Bi-Pt/ZrO2 is attributed to Bi which in contact with Pt particles promotes its catalytic activity. In short, catalytic oxidation was found to be an effective tool, for the removal of phenol, from industrial waste water.