The activation of dioxygen by metal ions has both synthetic potential and biological relevance. Dioxygen is the cleanest oxidant for use in emission-free technologies to minimize pollution of the environment. The book gives a survey of those catalyst systems based on metal complexes which have been discovered and studied in the last decade. They activate molecular oxygen and effect the oxidation of various organic compounds under mild conditions. Much of the recent progress is due to a search for biomimetic catalysts that would duplicate the action of metalloenzymes. Mechanistic aspects are emphasized throughout the book. An introductonary chapter reviews the chemistry of transition metal dioxygen complexes, which are usually the active intermediates in the catalytic reactions discussed. Separate chapters are devoted to oxidation of saturated, unsaturated and aromatic hydrocarbons, phenols, catechols, oxo-compounds, phosphorus, sulfur and nitrogen compounds.