This paper reports US Bureau of Mines (USBM) research on the explosibility of coal dusts. The purpose of this work is to improve safety in mining and other industries that process or use coal. Most of the tests were conducted in the USBM 20 litre laboratory explosibility chamber. The laboratory data show relatively good agreement with those from full-scale experimental mine tests. The parameters measured included minimum explosible concentrations, maximum explosion pressures, maximum rates of pressure rise, minimum oxygen concentrations, and amounts of limestone rock dust required to inert the coals. The effects of coal volatility and particle size were evaluated, and particle size was determined to be at least as important as volatility in determining the explosion hazard. For all coals tested, the finest sizes were the most hazardous. The coal dust explosibility data are compared to those of other hydrocarbons, such as polyethylene dust and methane gas, in an attempt to understand better the basics of coal combustion.