Various types of activated carbon sorbents were evaluated for their ability to remove H2S from a simulated coal gas stream at a temperature of 550 ??C. The ability of activated carbon to remove H2S at elevated temperature was examined as a function of carbon surface chemistry (oxidation, thermal desorption, and metal addition), and gas composition. A sorbent prepared by steam activation, HNO3 oxidation and impregnated with Zn, and tested in a gas stream containing 0.5% H2S, 50% CO2 and 49.5% N2, had the greatest H2S adsorption capacity. Addition of H2, CO, and H2O to the inlet gas stream reduced H2S breakthrough time and H2S adsorption capacity. A Zn impregnated activated carbon, when tested using a simulated coal gas containing 0.5% H2S, 49.5% N2, 13% H2, 8.5% H2O, 21% CO, and 7.5% CO2, had a breakthrough time of 75 min, which was less than 25 percent of the length of breakthrough for screening experiments performed with a simplified gas mixture of 0.5% H2S, 50% CO2, and 49.5% N2.