Studies of the catalytic oxidation of benzene to maleic anhydride and carbon dioxide over vanadia/molybdena catalysts show that the major part of the reaction involves interacting gas and gas-solid processes. The results are consistent with a mechanism in which a benzeneoxygen adduct is formed catalytically, desorbs and then reacts to give maleic anhydride entirely in the gas phase. On the basis of this proposed mechanism, the kinetics of individual reactions have been investigated in some depth. The over-oxidation of maleic anhydride has been found to be not significant under the conditions of reaction. The kinetic relationships governing the homogeneous decomposition of the adduct and the oxidation of the adduct to maleic anhydride and to carbon dioxide have been established. The results show that essentially all of the anhydride originates from mixed gas-solid/gas reaction while substantial amounts of carbon dioxide are produced entirely catalytically.