This contribution reviews the work performed mainly at Bergbau-Forschung during the past few years. First, it deals with the quantitative description of gasification kinetics, taking into account the pressure of the gasifying agent and partial pressures of product gases. Thereby, a method and quantitative data are provided for the calculation of reaction rates for uncatalyzed and potassium-catalyzed gasification, on the example of chars from high volatile bituminous coals. In addition, a method for characterization of internal surface area by oxygen chemisorption with respect to char reactivity has been improved. Progress has also been achieved in the assessment of the impact of pyrolysis conditions, especially the time-temperature profile during char formation, on its chemical activity during subsequent use.