Over 100 millions metric tons of ethylene are produced annually by steam cracking. Oxidative dehydrogenation of ethane (ODHE) is potentially a lower energy and less capital intensive method for the production of ethylene. In this work results of the selectivity and the productivity for ODHE for Ni, Cu and Fe loaded acidic and basic Y zeolites are presented. Ni/HY gives the best ODHE performance, with a productivity for C2H4 up to 1.08 gC2H4*gcat-1*h-1 (C2H6 conversion of 21.8% with C2H4 selectivity of ∼75% for C2H6 GHSV = 5800 ml*h-1 *gcat-1) at 600 °C. For all metals examined, both the C2H6 conversion and the C2H4 selectivity were favored on an acidic compared to a basic zeolite support. These results are consistent with a proposed mechanism that involves the formation of metal ethoxides and subsequent β-H abstraction step.