A method using stable isotope ratio analysis to monitor the reactivity of sulfur forms in coal during thermal and chemical desulfurization processes has been developed at the Illinois State Geological Survey. The method is based upon the fact that a significant difference exists in some coals between the 34S/32S ratios of the pyritic and organic sulfur. A screening method for determining the suitability of coal samples for use in isotope ratio analysis is described. Making these special coals available from coal sample programs would assist research groups in sorting out the complex sulfur chemistry which accompanies thermal and chemical processing of high sulfur coals. ?? 1987.