The production of chemically activated carbon from coconut shells was experimentally investigated by use of a laboratory-scale fluidized bed reactor. The effect of process variables such as time of activation, particle size, temperature, chemical reagent for activation, impregnation ratio, and fluidizing medium on the production and quality of activated carbon was studied. The product obtained in the fluidized bed reactor shows a marked improvement in adsorptive properties compared to activated carbon obtained in a static bed. Under the experimental conditions investigated, the optimal values of parameters are identified. © 1991, American Chemical Society. All rights reserved.