Two catalysts, alumina and manganese oxide supported on alumina, have been prepared by calcination and precipitation-impregnation methods, respectively. The catalysts are characterised by the following techniques: Brunner-Emmett-Teller-N adsorption-desorption for surface area, temperature programmed desorption of NH and -butyl amine back titration methods for surface acidity, powder X-ray diffraction for textural properties, and Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy for the anionic radicals. The catalytic activity has been determined under heterogeneous conditions in the condensation reaction between -phenylenediamine and benzil. The product purity is checked by thin-layer chromatography and melting point. The products are also analysed by LC-MS and H-NMR techniques. The yields of the products have been found to be good and catalysts exhibited excellent recyclability. The effect of changing the reaction parameters such as temperature, reaction time, amount of the catalyst, nature of solvent and molar ratio of reactants on the yield of the product has been studied. The surface acidity of the catalysts plays an important role in activating the reaction.