Burning of coal and biomass particles are studied and compared by measurements in an entrained flow reactor and by modelling. The results are applied to study the burning of pulverized biomass in a large scale utility boiler originally planned for coal. A simplified single particle approach, where the particle combustion model is coupled with one-dimensional equation of motion of the particle, is applied for the calculation of the burnout in the boiler. The particle size of biomass can be much larger than that of coal to reach complete burnout due to lower density and greater reactivity. The burner location and the trajectories of the particles might be optimised to maximise the residence time and burnout.