A series of activated carbons were prepared from Zonguldak Karadon bituminous coal by single-step chemical activations with NaOH, KOH, ZnCl2, and H3PO4 and investigated for the adsorption of two types of alcohols: isopropyl and ethyl alcohol. The effects of various preparation conditions, such as coal to activating agent ratio, temperature and time of carbonization on the final porous texture of the carbons were studied. Pore characterization of carbon samples was analyzed by the nitrogen adsorption-desorption isotherm data recorded at 77 K. Adsorption behavior of alcohol vapors on various activated carbons was investigated using a volumetric apparatus at room temperature. The adsorption isotherm data were analyzed with various isotherm models. KOH activated carbon was found to yield the highest surface area and alcohol adsorption capacity. The highest surface area obtained was 1659 m(2)/g by KOH treatment of coal at 700 degrees C. Adsorption capacity of carbon having the maximum surface area determined was 38.83 and 38.29% wt for isopropyl alcohol and ethyl alcohol, respectively.