Carbon supported iron (III) tetramethoxyphenylporphyrin (FeTMPP) heat treated at 800°C under argon atmosphere was used as catalysts for the electroreduction of oxygen in direct methanol polybenzimidazole (PBI) polymer electrolyte fuel cells that were operated at 150°C. The electrode structure was optimized in terms of the composition of PTFE, polymer electrolyte and carbon-supported FeTMPP catalyst loading. The effect of methanol permeation from anode to cathode on performance of the FeTMPP electrodes was examined using spectroscopic techniques, such as on line mass spectroscopy (MS), on line Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy and conventional polarization curve measurements under fuel cell operating condition. The results show that carbon supported FeTMPP heat treated at 800°C is methanol tolerant and active catalyst for the oxygen reduction in a direct methanol PBI fuel cell. The best cathode performance under optimal condition corresponded to a potent ial reached of 0.6V vs RHE at a current density of 900 mAcm−2.