Abstract As an important indicator, permeability can predict the gas drainage yield and prevent the mine gas disasters. We first reviewed our previous inversion method to investigate permeability coefficient of gas in coal particles; however, the relationship between permeability and adsorption pressure had not been summarized and explained theoretically. Here, a permeability evolution model including two crucial parameters of initial permeability and deformation coefficient was developed. The inversion gas permeability coefficients were converted into permeability, and then, the permeability of the same coal sample was fitted according to the evolution model. The results show that (i) the modeled results are matched reasonably well with the inversion permeability data, and thus, this model has been validated; and (ii) as volatile matter content increases, the initial permeability decreases exponentially, but the deformation coefficient basically grows in a linear trend. These two parameters are coupling to lead to a negative exponential decrease in permeability as gas pressure rises.