Energy generation and platform chemicals production from biomass are a potential route towards an oil-free economy. Pyrolysis is one of the key technologies for transforming biomass into both fuels and chemicals. However, pyrolysis is a complex and energy-intensive process, and optimizing the operation for reducing its energy requirements is critical for the design of competitive biorefineries. This work presents a model to describe cellulose pyrolysis based on mass, energy and momentum conservation of solid and gaseous species. Lumped and detailed kinetic models are used to investigate how heating conditions impact pyrolysis product distribution. The resulting complex system was solved using gPROMS. Results suggest that pyrolysis mainly occurs in the boundary of the modelled particles. The developed model presents flexibility to use lumped and detailed kinetic models and provided both a general perspective of the pyrolysis process and detailed information on product distribution. Using this model, the results show that an initial high heating rate, followed by a lower heating rate, could reduce energy requirements by 10 % without changing the product distribution. There is also a trade-off between the yield of high added-value products, such as levoglucosan, and the overall energy requirement.