An overview of preparation methods of activated carbons (ACs), activated carbon fibres (ACFs) and activated carbon monoliths (ACMs) has been presented. It has been remarked that the analysis of the different types of pores (size and shape), as well as the pore size distribution, is very important to foresee the behavior of porous solids in final applications. Examples of the performance of porous carbon materials in environmental (VOC abatement), energy storage (CH4 and H2) and space (adsorption compressors) applications, have been included. For these applications, the importance of developing materials with a high volume of narrow microporosity (assessed by CO2 adsorption at 273 K), has been demonstrated. In previous studies of our research group, we have shown that this type of porosity can be obtained by chemical alkaline hydroxide activation of carbon precursors with careful control and thorough understanding of the variables affecting the carbon activation process.

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