A model for the thermal conductivity of a straw char bed has been developed. The model extends the work of Yagi and Kunii to describe heat transfer in a bed of cylinders, using a relationship between the interparticle distance and the external porosity. To verify the model, thermal conductivity experiments were performed on shredded and un-shredded straw char samples, varying particle size, bed packing (loose or dense), and temperature. Predictions with the model, using the measured external porosity and particle diameter as input parameters, are in agreement with measurements within the experimental uncertainty over the range of conditions investigated. The heat transfer model was used in a parametric study to evaluate the effect of gas flow rate, particle diameter, porosity, and temperature on the thermal conductivity in a straw char bed.