Activated carbons were produced from coal by activations applying physical and chemical (with KOH) treatments for adsorption of selected organic vapors. Physical activations were carried out at 400-900 degrees C under N-2/CO2 flow. The effects of different variables such as carbonization temperature and flow rate on the final porous texture were investigated. Chemical activation gave more effective results in terms of both porosity development and adsorption capacity. Pore characterization of carbon samples was evaluated with the observation of N-2 adsorption-desorption isotherms at 77 K. The adsorption of isopropyl alcohol, acetone and ethyl alcohol on the coal derived activated carbons were determined by a volumetric technique at room temperature. The highest surface area was obtained as 1904 m(2)/g by KOH treatment at 800 degrees C. The adsorption isotherm data of the selected organic vapors on carbon samples were compared with the BET, Langmuir, Freundlich, Dubinin-Radushkevich, Dubinin-Astakhov, Harkins-Jura, Henderson, Halsey and Smith adsorption models. Adsorption capacities of organic vapors for carbon samples were related with the development of surface area. Among the four chemically activated carbons produced K1_K_600, K1_K_700 and K1_K_800 showed better isopropyl alcohol and acetone adsorption than the commercial activated carbon. K1_K_700 and K1_K_800 samples showed better ethyl alcohol adsorption. Isopropyl alcohol, acetone and ethyl alcohol adsorption capacities of the obtained sample that had the maximum surface area were determined as 39.7, 44 and 43.5 %, respectively. Results indicate that activated carbons prepared with KOH at 600-800 degrees C could be effectively used for the adsorption of organic vapors.