AbstractThe effect of phosphoric acid treatments on graphitic microcrystal growth of biomass-based carbons was investigated using X-ray diffraction, infrared spectroscopy, and Raman spectroscopy. Although biomass-based carbons are believed to be hard to graphitize even after heat treatments well beyond 2000 °C, we found that graphitic microcrystals of biomass-based carbons were significantly promoted by phosphoric acid treatments above 800 °C. Moreover, twisted spindle-like whiskers were formed on the surface of the carbons. This suggests that phosphorus-containing groups turn graphitic microcrystalline domains into graphite during phosphoric acid treatments. In addition, the porous texture of the phosphoric acid-treated carbon has the advantage of micropore development.