The effects of catalysts on hydrocarbon generation from kerogen, with the simulated samples being the Ordovician carbonate rocks from Pingliang area, Gansu province, NW China, were investigated by using simulation experiment and chemical catalysis mechanism. The catalytic action of different catalysts was studied on the product composition, hydrocarbon yield, kinetics of hydrocarbon generation, and so on. It is found that different catalysts might have different effects on hydrocarbon generation. In a situation of carbonate rocks existing, the yield of generated hydrocarbon S2 decreased because of the adsorption of carbonate on pyrlysates. The insoluble salt, CaSO4, as a catalyst, enhanced kerogen degradation to increase the yield of hydrocarbon(S2). The soluble salts including CaCl2,Na2SO4 and NaHCO3 had few effects on the hydrocarbon generation from kerogen. As the kinetics was concerned, carbonate rocks had a negative catalytic effect and decreased the reaction rate, but CaSO4 had a positive effect and gave rise to the reaction rate. In addition, it was also found that the kinetics parameters, apparent activation energy and frequency factor had a relationship with each other, which could be reasonably described by an exponential function.