Abstract A tiny-oil ignition burner has been proposed to reduce oil consumption during the firing-up process and partial-load operations. To investigate the influence of different feed rates on bituminous coal ignition in the tiny-oil ignition burner, full-scale reacting-flow experiments were performed on an experimental set-up. The ignition burner was identical to that normally used in an 800-MWe utility boiler. Gas temperature distributions in the burner were obtained at coal-feed rates of 2, 3, 4, and 5 tonnes/h. Char burnout and release of C and H were observed at the exit of the burner nozzle. Gas compositions such as O 2 and CO were measured in the center of the burner. A change in resistance was obtained within the burner. A saving of 90% over previous oil consumption was gained in the firing-up process by using the new oil-gun technology.