A non-thermal plasma rector with a catalytic electrode made of sintered metal fibres (SMFs) was tested for the oxidative decomposition of a model VOC toluene. The input energy was varied in the range 160-295 J/I by varying the applied voltage between 12.5 and 22.5 kV at 200 Hz. Influence of various parameters like toluene concentration, SMF modification by Mn and Co oxides, input energy and ozone formation was studied. It has been observed that plasma catalytic approach is very effective for total oxidation of toluene at low input energy, especially at toluene concentration <= 250 ppm and SMF modification by transition metal oxides increased the performance of the reactor significantly. MnOx modification appears to be a better choice compared to CoOx, which may be attributed to the in situ decomposition of ozone leading to the formation of more reactive oxidants like atomic oxygen. (c) 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.