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The ability of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans to oxidize pyrrhotite minerals occurring in coal chars was investigated, to evaluate the feasibility of microbial char desulphurization. Bio-oxidation of pyrrhotites in chars produced by two different processes was demonstrated conclusively. Microbial removal of sulphur from a char and its parent coal proceeded at the rate of 3.5% and 12% day-1, respectively with a total of 48% and 81% removal after 27 days. The pH of shake flask cultures containing the coal dropped naturally to a final value of 2.2, while the pH of cultures containing the corresponding char rose and had to be lowered artificially with additional acid. Amending char cultures with elemental sulphur to increase acidity upon bio-oxidation and prevent precipitation of ferric iron was successful; however, the extent of pyrrhotite removal, as demonstated by X-ray diffraction analysis, was not improved. As yet, there is no explanation for the failure of microbial removal of pyrrhotitic sulphur to go to completion. ?? 1988.