Activated chars were produced from Illinois coal and tested in several flue gas cleanup applications. High-activity chars that showed excellent potential for both SO2 and NOx removal were prepared from an Illinois No. 2 bituminous coal. The SO2 (120 ??C) and NOx (25 ??C) removal performance of one char compared favorably with that of a commercial activated carbon (Calgon Centaur). The NOx removal performance of the same char at 120 ??C exceeded that of the Centaur carbon by more than 1 order of magnitude. Novel char preparation methods were developed including oxidation/thermal desorption and hydrogen treatments, which increased and preserved, respectively, the active sites for SO2 and NOx adsorption. The results of combined SO2/NOx removal tests, however, suggest that SO2 and NOx compete for similar adsorption sites and SO2 seems to be more strongly adsorbed than NO. A low-activity, low-cost char was also developed for cleanup of incinerator flue gas. A three-step method involving coal preoxidation, pyrolysis, and CO2 activation was used to produce the char from Illinois coal. Five hundred pounds of the char was tested on a slipstream of flue gas from a commercial incinerator in Germany. The char was effective in removing >97% of the dioxins and furans present in the flue gas; mercury levels were below detectable limits.