Hydrogenation reactions of alkenes (cyclohexene, ethyl acrylate, styrene and 1,5-cyclooctadiene) and aromatic compounds (o-, m- and p-xylene) were carried out in order to examine the activity of palladium-loaded surface-oxidized diamond (Pd/O-Dia) catalyst in liquid-phase hydrogenation. The catalytic performance was compared to commercial palladium-loaded activated carbon (Pd/C) catalyst. The catalyst activities were evaluated by conversions of reactants and H2 uptake rates in the early stage of the reaction. In all the hydrogenation reactions of alkenes and aromatic compounds, the activity of Pd/O-Dia was almost the same as or slightly higher than that of Pd/C. Dispersion of Pd metal was measured by a CO-pulsed adsorption technique and TEM observations of the catalysts. Pd dispersions were on the same order of magnitude according to the CO-pulsed adsorption technique, although the Pd/C catalyst had a higher surface area (718 m2/g) than that of Pd/O-Dia (23 m2/g). The Pd particle sizes on O-Dia measured by TEM observation were slightly smaller than those on the activated carbon. Such highly dispersed Pd particles on O-Dia would contribute to higher activity for the hydrogenation reaction of alkenes and aromatic compounds.