The catalytic activity of La2CuO4 for the decomposition of H2O2 was studied in detail. La2CuO4 was prepared by the ceramic method in four different ways. Gamma irradiation of the La2CuO4 samples increased their catalytic activity irrespective of the method of preparation. The enhanced catalytic activity is attributed to irradiation generated Cu+ centres on the surface of the catalyst. © 1986 Akadémiai Kiadó.