A new yttrium-zirconium-pillared montmorillonite (Y-Zr-MMT), was synthesized, characterized and used as a Ce catalyst support. The Y-Zr-MMT is a good support for dispersing cerium active sites and it is responsible for the high activity in the total oxidation of acetone, toluene and ethyl acetate. The Y-Zr-MMT shows greater advantages than the conventional alumina/cordierite honeycomb supports such as large specific surface area, lower cost and easier preparation. Catalytic tests demonstrated that Ce/Y-Zr-MMT (Ce loading 8.0%) was the most active, with the total oxidation of acetone, toluene and ethyl acetate being achieved at 220, 300 and 220°C, respectively. The catalyst displayed better activity for the oxidation of acetone and ethyl acetate than a conventional, supported Pd-catalyst under similar conditions. The special structure of the yttrium-doped zirconium-pillared montmorillonite can strengthen the interaction between the CeO2 and Zr-MMT support and improve the dispersion of the Ce particles, which enhances the catalytic activity for the oxidation of VOCs. The new catalyst, 8.0%Ce/Y-Zr-MMT, could be promising for industrial applications due to its high catalytic activity and low cost. The support and the catalysts were characterized by X-ray diffraction (XRD), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and BET specific surface area measurements.