This paper presents a transient one-dimensional mathematical model which simulates the pyrolysis of a single dried wood particle. The porous wood particle is considered as a two-phase system: the solid phase consisting of wood and char and the gas phase consisting of volatiles and tar. Conservation equations for mass, momentum and energy are developed for each phase. Chemical processes are described through an existing one-stage three-reactions scheme, leading separately to char, tar and volatiles evolution dynamics. The variation of transport and physical properties with temperature and with composition is presented by algebraic equations. The model presented in this paper is more advanced than the current models found in literature, since it contains physical effects not included in past models, such as cross diffusion, differing solid and gas phase temperatures and a transient gas phase momentum equation incorporating the wall friction experienced by a fluid flowing through a porous medium. Furthermore, an adequate reference system for enthalpy, based on temperature dependent reaction heats, is used. The mathematical equations with initial and boundary conditions are solved numerically by means of a commercial CFD code (PHOENICS). The validity of the pyrolysis kinetics scheme is examined through comparison with experimental data. Furthermore, the macro-particle model is validated by (1) examining the limitations and importance of the newly-modelled effects (different solid phase and gas phase temperature, cross diffusion and wall friction) and (2) making a comparison between predicted and experimental results for large particles.