Electrospun-based activated carbon nanofiber nonwovens (ACNFN) are interesting candidate materials for adsorption processes due to their high surface area and low flow-through resistance. However, the mechanical properties of these materials must be sufficient to withstand the conditions for use and to prevent breakage and fiber shedding. Improvements in the mechanical properties of the ACNFNs should not be accompanied by deterioration of other beneficial properties, however. In this research, improving the mechanical properties of ACNFN based on 14 wt % PAN/DMF was done by tuning the fabrication conditions. Carbonization occured at 600 °C for 2 h followed by steam activation at 750 °C for 1 h. We demonstrated the capability to generate ACNFN with high accessible surface area that reached 520 m 2 /g and acceptable mechanical strength (break strength, 0.9; 75 MPa, Young's modulus) for improved handling and use in different applications.