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Al2O3-supported 12 wt% V2O5 catalysts were prepared by physically grinding both the oxides (solid–solid wetting) and by wet impregnation techniques. The physical mixtures (PM) were treated under two different conditions – calcination in the presence of dry oxygen and wet oxygen. The catalysts were characterized by x-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, electron spin resonance and oxygen and carbon dioxide chemisorptions. Vanadia dispersion of the physical mixture calcined in the presence of wet oxygen was found to be very similar to that of the V2O5/Al2O3 catalyst prepared by the standard impregnation method. Methanol partial oxidation activities of these catalysts were also comparable.