Experimental data on desulphurisation of a simulated coal gas mixture containing 200 ppm H2S, using CuO/ZnO mixed oxide sorbent in a fluidised bed reactor, are used to evaluate four representative structural models for gas-solid non-catalytic reactions. The four models chosen for evaluation are the spherical changing-grain-size model of Georgakis and co-workers, the rectangular grains version of the general formulation of Szekely and co-workers, the single-pore model of Ramachandran and Smith and the random pore model of Bhatia and Perlmutter. All the model parameters except the reaction rate constant are calculated from experimental measurements or from literature correlations. The rate constant alone is adjusted so as to obtain good agreement between the model and the experiment. It is shown that at any given temperature all the models describe the data well. However, the random pore model predicts conversions lower than experiment at large times while the rectangular grains model predicts conversions higher than experiment for small times. The rate constants decrease as temperature increases indicating an inadequacy of all the models in this regard. The models also predict much smaller variations in conversion with change in particle size than those observed experimentally. © 1987 the Indian Academy of Sciences.