This paper investigates the influence of the catalyst support type on mass transport and reaction rate for the case of hydrogenation of a-methylstyrene to cumene in a gas inducing stirred slurry reactor and in a slurry bubble column. The reaction is carried out in the presence of 3% Pd/carbon and 3% Pd/silica catalyst particles. The lyophobicity of the two catalyst supports in the cumene slurry is found to be similar. The overall rate of the hydrogenation reaction is described by the classical transport and reaction resistances-in-series model. The rate of gas-to-liquid mass transfer is somewhat larger during reaction than without reaction. This enhanced mass transfer points to particle-to-bubble adhesion as a result of the relative affinity of both catalyst supports to the gas phase. The observed reaction enhancements are similar for both Pd/carbon and Pd/silica catalyst/cumene slurries.