Methodologies for generating carbon materials from unusual natural sources like Limonea acidissima and Calotropis gigantea are reported. The carbon materials thus obtained have been characterized using a variety of tools. The possibility of modulating the textural properties of these materials has been examined. The carbon materials synthesized have been exploited for specific applications, such as support for noble metals for use in Direct Methanol Fuel Cells and as support for heteropoly acid for the production of gasoline additive. In addition, the utility of some of the activated carbon materials (from commercial sources) for the removal of sulphur from crude petroleum sources is also examined. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC.