The purpose of this study has been to enhance the understanding of the processes involved in pressurized black liquor gasification. Gasification is known to occur in three stages: drying, pyrolysis and char gasification. The work presented here focuses on the pyrolysis and gasification stages. Experiments were carried out primarily in two laboratory-scale reactors. A pressurized grid heater was used to study black liquor pyrolysis under pressurized conditions. Char yields and the fate of elements in the liquor, as well as the degree of liquor swelling, were measured in this device. A pressurized thermogravimetric reactor was used to measure the rate of the char gasification process under different temperatures and pressures and in various gas atmospheres. Pyrolysis experiments were also carried out in this device, and data on swelling behavior, char yields and component release were obtained 317 refs.