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Carbon or charcoal can be made from biomass or cellulose-containing materials such as coconut shells or candlenut shells using a thermal process. One of the thermal process is pyrolysis, which in this process, the material is converted to carbon. The results of pyrolysis are in the form of three types of products namely solids (charcoal / carbon), gas (fuel gas) and liquid (bio-oil). Other products are gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and some gases that have small contents. In general, the pyrolysis process takes place at temperatures above 300 ° C within 4-7 hours. Carbonized carbon or pyrolysis does not have a large adsorption capacity because the pore structure does not develop, so it is need activation process. One way to activate carbon is chemical activation. There is a need to know the best material for activating carbon through chemical process. This article aims to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of various types of chemical activation and to determine the promising chemical for activation. From various methods of chemical activation, the activator that promises to make activated carbon is Phosphoric Acid (H3PO4) because it can produce activated carbon which has a maximum micropore at operating conditions <450oC with a weight percent ratio between activator and sample around 29 - 52%.
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