This study focused on the purification of ethylene from acetylene using a catalyst made of cobalt deposited on a carbon-containing material, such as clay. Cobalt catalysts with different mass fractions were carbonized at a temperature of 550 degrees C, activated with 5% and 10% nitric acid and tested for the hydrogenation of acetylene to ethylene. The physicochemical properties were investigated by means of X-ray powder diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscope (SEM) and TG/DSC. The reaction products were analyzed using a Chrom-3700 gas chromatograph and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (Agilent 7890A/5975C). The conversion of a 7% Co/CL-10 catalyst, carbonized at 550 degrees C, was 82% at 100 degrees C, and reached 95% at 140 degrees C. Side reactions were activated when the temperature rose above 140 degrees C, which reduced the ethylene yield. The carbonized catalysts exhibited more activity than traditional impregnated catalysts that had not been subjected to carbonization. This paper outlines a simple method for preparing Co/CL-10 catalysts with high catalytic activities for the selective hydrogenation of acetylene, using the carbonization process on a chemically-activated carrier clay.