Different synthesis methods such as homogeneous precipitation at room temperature and supercritical water (T > 647 K and P > 22.1 MPa) were employed for cerium oxide preparation. Additionally, deposition of ceria on silica mesoporous material, SBA-15, was carried out. The obtained materials were characterized by means of X-ray powder diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, nitrogen physisorption, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy and CO2 temperature programmed desorption. Considerable variations in physico-chemical properties of the resulting materials were observed. The catalytic activities of pristine cerium oxide and ceria loaded on SBA-15 support were compared. The test reaction was synthesis of diethyl carbonate starting from carbon dioxide and ethanol using butylene oxide as the dehydrating agent.