Sulphur in coal was determined using a high-resolution continuum source flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (HR-CS-FAAS) with actylene/air flame. The C-S absorption band at 258.056 nm was found the most suitable analytical line with respect to sensitivity and spectral interferences. The instrumental parameters were optimized. The coal samples were dried and dissolved using microwave-assisted digestion technique. The validity of the method was tested using standard reference material and certified values were found in the limits of 95% confidence level. Since the concentrations of matrix elements of coal other than carbon are low enough not to cause any spectral interferences, the linear calibration method was applied in all quantifications without any problem. The calibration standards were prepared in sulphuric acid. The method was accurate, fast, simple and sensitive. The limit of detection (LOD, 3δ, N = 10) and the limit of quantification (LOQ, 10δ, N = 10) were found to be 0.01 and 0.03% (w/w), respectively. The sulphur concentrations of various kinds of the coal samples received around Turkey were determined. The sulphur contents of the coal samples were ranged from ≤LOQ to 1.2%. © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.