Abstract In the present work, a chemically oxidized mesoporous carbon (COMC) with excellent adsorption properties towards naphthalene-derived compound was prepared by an acid surface modification method from mesoporous carbon (MC) through wet impregnation method. The structural order and textural properties of the prepared materials were studied by XRD, SEM, and nitrogen adsorption. The presence of carboxylic functional groups on the carbon surface was confirmed by means of FTIR analyses. Adsorption of naphthalene, 1-naphthol and 1,5-diaminonaphthalene on various mesoporous adsorbents such as COMC, MC were studied from solutions of different pH. The adsorption isotherms of polycyclic aromatics hydrocarbons were in agreement with a Langmuir model, moreover, the uptake capacity of naphthalene followed the order: COMC > MC.