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The behavior of chlorine in Illinois coals during pyrolysis was evaluated by combined thermo-gravimetry-Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy-ion chromatography (TG-FTIR-IC) techniques. It was found that more than 90% of chlorine in Illinois coals (IBC-103, 105, 106, and 109) was liberated as HCl gas during pyrolysis from 300 to 600??C, with the rate reaching a maximum at 440 ??C. Similarity of the HCl and NH3 release profiles during pyrolysis of IBC-109 supports the hypothesis that the chlorine in coal may be associated with nitrogen and the chlorine is probably bonded to the basic nitrogen sites on the inner walls of coal micropores. ?? 1994 American Chemical Society.