An electron microbeam technique was used to determine the distribution of organic sulfur in the main macerals of five Illinois Basin coals. On average, sporinites are the highest, inertinites the lowest, and vitrinites intermediate in organic sulfur for each coal. The observed differences are likely due to varying affinities of the different pre-maceral materials for sulfur and/or local variation in the production of H2S primarily during the peat stage. Investigation of molecular structures of individual macerals in relation to the findings of this study may delineate the relative abundance of organic sulfur in various organic compounds and thus lead to the development of efficient desulfurization processes. ?? 1991.