The reduction of the NOx content in in-line-calciner-type kiln systems can be made by optimization of the primary filing in the rotary kiln and of the secondary firing in the calciner. Because the optimization of calciner offers greater opportunities the mathematical modeling of this reactor is very important. A heterogeneous, dynamic mathematical model for an in-line low-NOx calciner based on non-isothermal diffusion reaction models for char combustion and limestone calcination has been developed. The importance of the rate at which preheated combustion air was mixed into the main flow was particularly studied. The results of the simulations indicate that the external heat and mass transfer to the char particles is not limiting. Internal diffusion of O-2, CO, NO and CO2 is important especially in the reducing zone and the first pail of the oxidizing zone of the calciner and the internal heat transport limitation is significant for the endothermic limestone calcination. The rate at which preheated combustion air is mixed into the main flow directly influences the coal combustion rate, and thereby through the rate of heat release from combustion, it also influences the calcination rate and the temperature profile. The mixing rate has some influence on the CO concentration profile and an important influence on the overall degree of fuel-N to NO conversion. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.