Template assisted synthesis of boron substituted carbon nanotubes was carried out by the carbonization of hydroborane polymer in alumina membrane template. The nanotubes were characterized by electron microscopic analysis, FT-Raman, FT-IR, XRD, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and 13C & 11B MAS NMR techniques. The presence of boron in different chemical environment has been visualized by XPS and 11B MAS NMR. The hydrogen absorption activity has been studied and a maximum of 2 wt% hydrogen storage capacity was observed. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.