In this paper we report the utility of a variety of silica impregnated bi- and trimetallic catalysts for the conversion of ethanol into 1,3-butadiene. The highest selectivity observed was 67%. The catalysts have been characterised via29Si solid-state NMR spectroscopy, TEM, XPS, pXRD and nitrogen adsorption studies. Different silica materials have been investigated as supports and there appears to be a relationship between the pore diameter and the selectivity to 1,3-butadiene. When the same metals were impregnated on non-acidic supports the conversion dramatically reduced.