The effect of carbonization temperature on the electrical resistivity and physical properties of solid (ash) wood, plywood, and particleboard carbonized in a vacuum furnace under a gas flow of nitrogen (200 ml/min) between 400 and 1100 degrees C was investigated. The electrical resistivity, dimension shrinkage and weight loss of the carbonized specimens were extensively investigated. The electrical resistivity of specimens significantly decreased with increasing carbonization temperature. The rates of the volumetric shrinkage and weight loss of the specimens significantly increased with increasing the temperature. At the carbonization temperature of 1100 degrees C, the particleboard had the highest electrical conductivity property, followed by the plywood and solid wood, respectively. The electrical resistivities of wood, plywood, and particleboard carbonized at 1100 degrees C were less than about 1 ohm-cm, thereby making them suitable for use as an electrode in a fuel cell, battery or electrolyzer. (C) 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.