Solid and soluble products of THF and CH2Cl2 extraction of flame coal oxidised by four different oxidising agents (peroxyacetic acid (PAA), 5% HNO3, O2/Na2CO3, air/125 °C) were studied by elemental analysis and FTIR. The extraction yield with THF was much higher than that with CH2Cl2 for all samples. The greatest changes in elemental composition were in the extracts from coal oxidised by nitric acid. The sulphur content was lowest in extracts from coal oxidised with 5% HNO3 and PAA. FTIR confirmed that coal treatment with nitric acid incorporates nitrogen into the coal structure.