This study aims to investigate advantages that the catalytically supported combustor can have. A catalytic combustor was prepared which consisted of a catalyst bed and a thermal combustor downstream of the catalyst bed. The catalyst bed consisted of two stages, a Pd catalyst in the first stage and a Pt catalyst in the second stage. The results showed that the catalytically supported combustion had some advantages. One of them was that autoignition occurred in the thermal combustor so that an igniter was not necessary to start flame ignition. Another was that the catalytically supported combustor offered stable combustion for lean mixtures. NOx emissions were low because of the stable lean combustion. Copyright (C) 1999 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.