Bioethanol is an example of a renewable energy source which can be produced not only by fermentation of simple sugars but also by depolymerisation of cellulose, as the second-generation feedstock, in the first step. This will help to further develop the bioethanol economy. Ethanol can be used as a promising platform molecule for the production of a variety of industrially important chemicals such as alkenes or oxygenates. Alkenes are produced industrially by petrochemical way mainly from crude oil, a non-renewable energy source. Conversion of ethanol to light olefins using an appropriate catalyst could replace the production of these key building blocks for the chemical industry. In this work, the focus is on the preparation and testing of heterogeneous catalysts in the transformation of ethanol to alkenes and acetaldehyde. In most cases, magnesia-based catalysts were used on a silica support during the experiment. Individual types of catalysts were compared in terms of yields of particular products, the effect of the feedstock load and that of calcination temperature of the catalyst on the catalytic activity are discussed. The highest ethylene yields (95 %) were achieved over an Mg-β-zeolite catalyst; the highest yield of 1,3-butadiene (29.1 %) was achieved in case of an Na/alumina catalyst; and the highest acetaldehyde yield (22.3 %) was achieved using a K-doped MgO/SiO2 catalyst.