Advanced visualization systems are used in many engineering applications where information about particle size and position plays critical roles. In practice, the manual detection and following of individual or groups of particles is not feasible; an automated computational method must be used. Devices and mathematical algorithms capable of tracking particles have been developed by many engineering groups. The applicability of available methods is limited to detecting and tracking particle size and position only under cold flow conditions being the main weakness of these methods. To mitigate this limitation, a unique experimental rig and detection algorithm used for calculating particle size and sphericity under combustion process are investigated in this study. The data collected by the proposed visualization system are used to gather kinetic data of combustion. Reliable kinetic data are critical for accurate simulations of coal combusted in the large industrial boilers used in the energy sector, and thus, they are a pre-requisite for computer aided boiler optimization. © 2016 Elsevier B.V..