In order to improve the performance of coal fired furnaces, a better understanding of coal devolatilization is very much of interest. The process is complex, coupling heat transport and mass transport to the kinetics of the decomposition reactions. A complete description of the process with respect to composition and evolution rate of individual volatiles is presently not possible. The present paper provides a short discussion of the transport mechanisms involved in devolatilization, i.e heat and mass transport. Furthermore, predicted heating times of coal particles using simple models are presented. (au) (12 refs.).