This study presents the atomization behavior of coal-water slurries at conditions typical of a gas turbine combustor. Slurry spray characteristics were determined using a plain-jet airblast research nozzle. The effects of air-blast air velocity, chamber pressure and air-to-fuel mass flowrate ratio (AFR) on SMD were investigated. Values of SMD were determined for levels of tank pressure between 1 and 20 atm., air-to-fuel mass flowrate ratios (AFR) between 0.5 and 6.0, and airblast air velocities between 30 and 120 m/sec. Several slurries with loadings between 50 and 70% (by weight) were used. The Sauter Mean Diameter and drop size distribution parameter were measured using the forward light-scattering technique (Malvern 2600 HSD).