In this report, corncob residue, the main by-product in the furfural industry, is used as a precursor to prepare porous carbon by a simple and direct thermal treatment: one-step activation without pre-carbonization. As a consequence, the corncob residue derived porous carbon achieves a high surface area of 1210 m(2) g(-1) after ash-removal. The carbon material has the advantages of low cost and low environmental impact, with a superior electrochemical performance compared to those polymer-based synthetic carbons as electrode material for a supercapacitor. The carbon electrode exhibits a high capacitance of 314 F g(-1) in 6M KOH electrolyte. The corresponding sample also shows a superb cycling stability. Almost no capacitance decay was observed after 100,000 cycles. The excellent electrochemical performance is due to the combination of a high specific surface area with a fraction of mesopores and highly stable structure.