Naphthalene hydrogenation was carried out in a high-pressure batch reactor over platinum catalysts supported on Al-MCM-41 where aluminum was incorporated through two different methods: a direct sol-gel method (Pre) and post-synthetic grafting method (Post). The catalytic reaction was also performed in the presence of dibenzothiophene to investigate the sulfur tolerance. The hydrogenation activity, selectivity and the sulfur tolerance strongly depended on the acidic nature of Al-MCM-41 support. It was suggested that the acid sites of Al-MCM-41-Post be more accessible than those of Al-MCM-Pre due to different aluminum distribution within the pore wall. The naphthalene and tetralin conversion increased with the acid amount of the supports in Pt/Al-MCM-41 catalysts. The acid sites in bifunctional catalysts seemed to contribute to alternative pathway by the spillover hydrogen in the acid-metal interfacial region for naphthalene hydrogenation, since the metal dispersions were kept constant for Pt/Al-MCM-41 catalysts. The trans-decalin selectivity generally increased with temperature or acid amount. The acid sites seemed to enhance the sulfur tolerance of supported platinum catalysts due to the electron-deficient state of metal. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.