Powdered activated coke (PAC) is a good adsorbent of SO , but its adsorption capacity is affected by many factors in the preparation process. To prepare the PAC with a high SO adsorption capacity using JJ-coal under flue gas atmosphere, six parameters (oxygen-coal equivalent ratio, reaction temperature, reaction time, O concentration, CO concentration, and H O concentration) were screened and optimized using the response surface methodology (RSM). The results of factor screening experiment show that reaction temperature, O concentration, and H O (g) concentration are the significant factors. Then, a quadratic polynomial regression model between the significant factors and SO adsorption capacity was established using the central composite design (CCD). The model optimization results indicate that when reaction temperature is 904.74°C, O concentration is 4.67%, H O concentration is 27.98%, the PAC (PAC-OP) prepared had a higher SO adsorption capacity of 68.15 mg/g while its SO adsorption capacity from a validation experiment is 68.82 mg/g, and the error with the optimal value is 0.98%. Compared to two typical commercial activated cokes (ACs), PAC-OP has relatively more developed pore structures, and its and are 349 m /g and 0.1475 cm /g, significantly higher than the 186 m /g and 0.1041 cm /g of AC1, and the 132 m /g and 0.0768 cm /g of AC2. Besides, it also has abundant oxygen-containing functional groups, its surface O content being 12.09%, higher than the 10.42% of AC1 and 10.49% of AC2. Inevitably, the SO adsorption capacity of PAC-OP is also significantly higher than that of both AC1 and AC2, which is 68.82 mg/g versus 32.53 mg/g and 24.79 mg/g, respectively.