Diesel soot suppression effects of catalytic fuel additives for a range of fuels with different properties were investigated with calcium naphthenate. A single cylinder DI diesel engine and a thermobalance were used to determine the soot reduction and its mechanism for seven kinds of fuels.Experimental results showed that the catalytic effect of the fuel additive was different for the different fuels, and could be described by a parameter considering cetane number and kinematic viscosity. The fuel additives reduced soot more effectively for fuels with higher cetane number and lower kinematic viscosity. This result was explained by soot oxidation characteristics for the different fuels. Oxidation of soot with the metallic additive proceeds in two stages: stage I, a very rapid oxidation stage; and stage II, a following slow or ordinary oxidation stage. The degree of soot oxidation in stage I increased with calcium additive content, and was more remarkable for fuels with higher cetane number and lower kinematic viscosity.