Palm kernel shell (PKS) was utilized as a precursor for the preparation of activated carbon (AC) via different carbonization temperatures and carbon dioxide gas activation processes. The physical and chemical properties of the AC samples were studied by TGA, nitrogen adsorption analysis and SEM. The results show that the AC sample with BET surface area up to 622 m 2 g -1 and total pore volume of 0.297 cm 3 g -1 with narrow pore size of 1.2 nm were obtained. The SEM shows that more pores were revealed on the surface of AC after the carbonization and activation processes. The AC samples carbonized at 500 and 600 °C (CA-500 and CA-600) exhibited higher Ce removal percentage (99.94 %) than that of the other samples. Higher BET surface area of the CA-500 and CA-600 samples resulted in slightly more Ce ions to be adsorbed and precipitated compared to that of other samples. The result indicates that high pH value and BET surface area of AC sample has a rather strong influence on Ce removal. AC samples show excellent Ce removal capacity, thereby; the results suggest that the PKS-based AC could be a promising adsorbent for the cerium removal application.