The activities of perovskites depend on compositions and preparation methods. Various perovskites, La1-xMxMnO3 (M=Ag, Sr, Ce, La), have been prepared by two different methods (co-precipitation and spray decomposition). The new preparation method, spray decomposition, produced perovskites of a high surface area of over 10 m(2)/g. The catalytic activities for CH4 and CO oxidation have been studied on a series of catalysts, La1-xMxMnO3. The perovskite-type oxide, La0.7Ag0.3MnO3, shows the highest catalytic activity: the complete conversion of CO and CH4 at 370 and 825 K, respectively. (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.