In this study, the combustion reactivity of different rank coals, such as peat, lignite, bituminous coal and anthracite samples, was investigated. Non-isothermal thermogravimetry has been used to determine the combustion reactivities of the samples. The differences observed in the burning profile of the samples were studied. The calculated activation energy values of the samples were investigated, regarding carbon content, volatile matter content and burning profile peak temperature. The relationship between ignition temperature and carbon content (dmf) of the coal samples was also studied. The weight loss percentages of the different rank coal samples were discussed, depending on temperature. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd. All right reserved.