Four carbon black samples differing in surface area, pH and surface properties (oxygen functionality) were pore volume impregnated with aqueous molybdate solutions as to achieve a Mo loading of 0.5 Mo atoms per nm2 support surface area. Dispersion measurements obtained by means of X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, dynamic oxygen chemisorption and transmission electron microscopy, indicated the presence of highly dispersed molybdate in all precursor samples, which upon sulfidation was converted into molybdenum sulfide with a particle size varying between 3.5 and 13.5 nm dependant on the type of carbon black support. To explain these dispersion differences the interaction between molybdate ions and the carbon surface was studied by means of FTIR and XPS. No major changes were observed in the oxygen functionality of the carbon black upon loading with molybdate. Some minor changes were, however, observed by means of FTIR which could point to a chemical reaction between an aryl ether functional group and the molybdate ions.