The accelerating effect of reactive pyrite on coal self-heating was measured experimentally using an adiabatic oven. Reaction rate data obtained from the experimental results were applied to a numerical model of coal self-heating. The model results showed reasonable agreement with the measured time taken to reach thermal runaway. However, the shape of the self-heating curves showed subtle variations. Since the pyrite oxidation reaction consumes moisture, there was a mutual effect of accelerated heating as less heat was used up in moisture evaporation. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.