Soot oxidation was studied experimentally in laminar hydrocarbon/air diffusion flames at atmospheric pressure. Measurements were carried out along the axes of round jets burning in coflowing air considering acetylene, ethylene, propylene and propane as fuels. Measurements were limited to the initial stages of soot oxidation (carbon consumption less than 70%) where soot oxidation mainly occurs at the surface of primary soot particles. The following properties were measured as a function of distance above the burner exit: soot concentrations by deconvoluted laser extinction, soot temperatures by deconvoluted multiline emission, soot structure by thermophoretic sampling and analysis using Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), concentrations of stable major gas species (N2, H2O, H2, O2, CO, CO2, CH4, C2H2,C2H4, C2H6, C3H6, and C3H8) by sampling and gas chromatography, concentrations of some radical species (H, OH, O) by the deconvoluted Li/LiOH atomic absorption technique and flow velocities by laser velocimetry. It was found that soot surface oxidation rates are not particularly affected by fuel type for laminar diffusion flames and are described reasonably well by the OH surface oxidation mechanism with a collision efficiency of 0.10, (standard deviation of 0.07) with no significant effect of fuel type in this behavior; these findings are in good agreement with the classical laminar premixed flame measurements of Neoh et al. Finally, direct rates of surface oxidation by O2 were small compared to OH oxidation for present conditions, based on estimated O2 oxidation rates due to Nagle and Strickland-Constable (1962), because soot oxidation was completed near the flame sheet where O2 concentrations were less than 1.2% by volume.