In this work, the influence of the radiative properties of coal and ash particles on radiative heat transfer in combustion environments is investigated. Emphasis is placed on the impact on the impact of the complex index of refraction and the particle size on particle absorption and scattering efficiencies. Different data of the complex index of refraction available in the literature are compared, and their influence on predictions of the radiative wall flux and radiative source term in conditions relevant for pulverized coal combustion is investigated. The heat transfer calculations are performed with detailed spectral models. Particle radiative properties are obtained from Mie theory, and a narrow band model is applied for the gas radiation. The results show that, for the calculation of particle efficiencies, particle size is a more important parameter than the complex index of refraction. The influence of reported differences in the complex index of refraction of coal particles on radiative heat transfer is small for particle sizes and conditions of interest for pulverized coal combustion. For ash, the influence of variations in the literature data on the complex index of refraction is larger, here, differences between 10% and 40% are seen in the radiative source term and radiative heat fluxes to the walls. It is also shown that approximating a particle size distribution with a surface area weighted mean diameter, D^{32}, for calculation of the particle efficiencies has a small influence on the radiative heat transfer.