Liquefaction experiments have been performed on two Colombian coals under high pressure nitrogen atmospheres in the presence of ethanol and a catalyst of ZnCl2. It was observed that the production of products soluble in toluene and THF increased with reaction temperature and nitrogen pressure. The addition of a partial pressure of 10% hydrogen also increased yields although further increases in hydrogen pressure had no effect. It was observed that ethanol swelled both coals significantly and it was believed that the swelling increased the accessibility of the ethanol and catalyst to the macromolecular structure thus creating a very efficient hydrogenation system. The efficiency of the system was attributed to dissolution of the catalyst in the ethanol and swelling of the coal macromolecular structure.