• rare earth–macromolecule complexes;
  • novolac-type phenolic resin;
  • mesoporous carbon;
  • catalysis;
  • steam activation


Mesoporous carbon with narrow pore size distribution was novelly derived from rare earth–macromolecule complexes, which were formed by the coordination between grafted novolac-type phenolic resin and rare earth ions (Ce3+). The as-made resins or carbons were characterized by infrared spectrum, thermogravimetry, carbon tetrachloride adsorption, nitrogen adsorption, and scanning electron microscope. The results showed that the rare earth–macromolecule complexes were formed successfully, which could promote the dispersion of rare earth elements in the precursor and further control the pore structure and pore size distribution of as-made mesoporous carbon during steam-activation process. The as-made mesoporous carbon exhibited typical mesoporous structure and relatively narrow pore size distribution, and the mesoporosity of it was up to 88%. © 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Appl Polym Sci, 2011