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Rapid analysis of coal properties plays an important part in improving combustion efficiency and reducing atmospheric emissions at coal-fired power stations. This article describes a technology for this application. Coal-fired power plants test for several different measurands: pollutants, the calorie value of coal, and the percentage of elements. A pulsed neutron beam can be used to analyze coal samples very efficiently. Just by sampling a small amount of coal, the instrument can accurately analyze the calorific value and the percentage of carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, sulfur, water, and ash. In the past few years, industrial applications in several power plants have seen its advantages over those using other technologies such as chemical analysis methods. In this article, we discuss the principles used in designing a pulsed fast thermal neutron (PFTN) coal analyzer and describe the features of the instrument.