In the present study, low value-added woody biomass, kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus L.), was utilized for production of activated carbons (ACs) that can be used as catalyst support for deposition of metal particles such as Pt to produce highly active catalysts for gasification of biomass hydrolysates by aqueous-phase reforming (APR) process. H3PO4 was used as activating agent for production of AC materials. ACs produced from kenaf and non-hydrolyzed fraction of kenaf after dissolution in subcritical water were compared with the commercial one. The activated carbon material from kenaf had highest BET surface area and total pore volume among the materials tested including commercial AC The catalyst prepared by Pt deposition on this material (kenaf AC-Pt) had also highest BET surface area and total pore volume. This catalyst exhibited very high activity and selectivity for hydrogen production (0.015 mol H-2/g catalyst) in APR of biomass hydrolysate. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.