Abstract A novel control method for thermoacoustic instabilities with jet in cross-flow (JICF) in a swirl combustor was proposed, and N 2 and CO 2 were selected as the JICF, respectively, which has not been reported before. The pressure amplitudes, temperature distributions and flue gas components were obtained and analyzed. The influence of stoichiometric ratios was also investigated. The experimental results show that the JICF can control the thermoacoustic instability effectively and the highest control effect ratio could reach 90%. Meanwhile, JICF will not increase the pollutants, and can improve the combustion efficiency. Using CO 2 as the JICF is better than N 2 in the control effect of thermoacoustic instability.