The reaction of direct transformation of ethanol to ethyl acetate was investigated on reduced Cu/ZrO2 catalysts prepared by a co-precipitation procedure. The catalytic performances of these Cu–Zr mixed oxides were considerably
influenced by changing the molar ratio of Cu to Zr. The highest selectivity to ethyl acetate was found over Cu/ZrO2(1) catalyst (molar ratio of Cu to Zr was 1). A variety of characterization techniques, such as N2 adsorption, XRD, XPS, TPR and NH3-TPD were carried out on the catalysts. The results revealed that the presence of a certain amount of Cu+ species may play very important role in improving the selectivity to ethyl acetate of the Cu/ZrO2 catalysts.