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Carbon gasification reactions form the basis of many important industrial processes, such as the combustion of coal and the produc tion of synthesis gas, fuel gases and activated carbons. They are also involved in metallurgical processes and in the regeneration of coked catalysts. Thus, understanding the fundamentals of carbon gasification is of vital importance for further technological development. Moreover, the subject is of interdisciplinary nature, involving chemistry, ma terials science and chemical engineering. Therefore, it was thought that an Advanced Study Institute would be fruitful in establishing the state of the art, in bringing together experts from the various sectors involved and in identifying areas of required research and industrial development. Such a meeting was held at Alvor, Portugal, from the 20th to the 31st May 1985, and the lectures presented the reof are collected in this volume. The present volume is organized in seven chapters. The Intro duction presents the carbon gasification reactions an~ their rele vance for particular processes and industrial uses. In the second chapter, the structures of carbon and coal are reviewed, together with methods of structural, chemical and textural characterization.