The nature of the Keggin ions of tungstophosphoric acid interacting with Ce0.5Zr0.5O2 solid solution has been investigated. The vibrational study shows additional IR features at 1051 and 957 cm-1 which are correlated to the primary Keggin anions interacting with Lewis sites involving Ce4+ and Zr4+ ions, and thus affecting the P-O and W=Oterminal bonds. The IR study indicates the formation of interfacial Ce4+-O-W and Zr4+-O-W bonds. The chemisorbed Keggin molecular layers on Ce0.5Zr0.5O 2 show activity towards conversion of acetophenone to styrene by Meerwein-Ponndorf-Verley reduction followed by dehydration. The activity is correlated with the relative intensities of IR peaks at 1051 and 957 cm -1 of the perturbed Keggin molecular layers. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.