The redox catalyst ruthenium dioxide, prepared via the Adams technique, i.e.Ru(Adams), is used as a water oxidation catalyst using the oxidants (i) Ce(IV) in 0.5M H2SO4 and (ii) periodate in 0.5 M H2SO4, water and 0.1 M KOH. Like Ce(IV),periodate is a very strong oxidant that is able to oxidise water to oxygen and can bereadily monitored spectrophotometrically at 280 nm, compared with 430 nm for Ce(IV).More importantly, unlike Ce(IV), which is unstable towards hydrolysis above pH 1,periodate is stable in acid, water and strong alkali. A spectrophotometric study of thekinetics of periodate reduction, and concomitant oxidation of water to O2, reveals thatin the presence of a suitable redox catalyst, Ru(Adams) in this work, periodate is ableto effect the stoichiometric oxidation of water, with a turnover number > 64. In justwater, the kinetics of the latter reaction appear diffusion-controlled, due to the largethermodynamic driving force, a measure of which is the difference in redox potential,i.e. ∆E = 423 mV. As this difference is decreased, ∆E = 396 mV in acid and 290 mVin strong alkali (0.1 M KOH), the kinetics become increasingly activation-controlledand slower. These findings are discussed briefly with regard to the possible use of (i)periodate as an alternative oxidant in the rapid screening of new potential wateroxidation catalyst material powders that are stable only under near neutral and/oralkaline conditions, and (ii) Ru(Adams) as a benchmark catalyst.