For the first time, high-surface-area (approximately 1465 m(2) g(-1)), highly porous and heteroatom-enriched activated carbon (HAC) was prepared from banana stems (Musa paradisiaca, Family: Musaceae) at different carbonization temperatures of 700, 800 and 900°C (HAC) using a simple and eco-friendly method. The amounts of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and sulfur in the HAC are 61.12, 2.567, 0.4315, ... [Show full abstract] and 0.349%, respectively. Using X-ray diffraction (XRD), CHNS elemental analysis, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Raman spectroscopy, the prepared activated carbon appears amorphous and disordered in nature. Here, we used HAC for an electrochemical application of nitrite (NO2(-)) sensor to control the environmental pollution. In addition, HAC exhibits noteworthy performance for the highly sensitive determination of nitrite. The limit of detection (LODs) of the nitrite sensor at HAC-modified GCE is 0.07 μM. In addition, the proposed method was applied to determine nitrite in various water samples with acceptable results.