Supported Pt nanoparticles are shown to be active and selective towards butyraldehyde in the base-free oxidation of n-butanol by O2 in an aqueous phase. The formation of butyric acid as a by-product promoted the leaching of Pt and consequently the activity of the catalysts decreased upon reuse. Characterisation showed that the degree to which Pt leached from the catalysts was related to both the metal-support interaction and metal particle size. A catalyst active and stable (<1% metal leaching) in the aqueous reaction medium was obtained when Pt nanoparticles were supported on activated carbon and prepared by a chemical vapour impregnation method. The presence of n-butanol in the aqueous medium is required to inhibit the over oxidation of butyraldehyde to butyric acid. Consequently, high selectivities towards butyraldehyde can only be obtained at intermediate n-butanol conversion.