Coal/biomass blends were prepared in the lignite/biomass ratios of 98:2, 96:4, 94:6, 92:8, 90: 10, and 80:20 using a Turkish lignite from Elbistan region and hazelnut shell. Co-pyrolysis characteristics were investigated in a thermogravimetric analyzer (TGA) from ambient to 1173 K with a linear heating rate of 20 K/min under dynamic nitrogen flow of 40 mi/min. Char products from pyrolysis were investigated using XRD and SEM techniques. Devolatilization yields from the blends were evaluated in a synergistic manner and found that the overall yields for all the blends exceeded the expected yields which calculated from the additive behavior. As regards to devolatilization characteristics in given temperature intervals, it was concluded that there was significant synergy between 400 and 600 K, whereas additive behavior took place beyond 600 K. No evidence of synergy was observed in the activation energies. It was also concluded that the addition of hazelnut shell into lignite contributed to the sulfur fixing potential of char in the form of CaS and CaSO4. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.