With petroleum reserves limited, and nuclear sources increasingly unacceptable, the use of coal (and potentially oil shale) is rapidly increasing as is its content of inorganics (minerals). Thermal analysis techniques are particularly suited for the evaluation, characterisation, analysis, basic, applied and pollution research of such organic and inorganic fossil fuel materials. The type, composition, quality and thermal decomposition characteristics of which control the calorific value, volatile yield, petrochemical potential, coke and fly ash derivatives together with end product ash. slag and gases such as hydrocarbons, SOx, NOx and CO2. Within this context the specific contributions made by DTA and DSC are reviewed and the value/applications of this approach established.