The chemical desulfurization of two high-sulfur Turkish lignites was investigated using a mixture of hydrogen peroxide in acetic acid. Sulfur removal was measured with respect to particle size, reaction time, reaction temperature and ultrasonic irradiation. In general, all inorganic sulfur and some organic sulfur were removed from these coals under mild conditions. Cayirhan lignite seemed more reactive towards peroxyacedic acid at slightly higher temperatures and longer reaction times, but under these conditions, solubility was high and yields of solid products declined. Reaction time and reaction temperature slightly changed the level of sulfur removal from Gediz lignite. The level of desulfurization was largely independent of the particle size for Gediz lignite, while sulfur removal from Cayirhan lignite seemed dependent of the particle size reaction temperature and reaction time. (C) 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.