: A passive autocatalytic hydrogen recombiner (PAR) is a self-starting device, without operator action or external power input, installed in nuclear power plants to remove hydrogen from the containment building of a nuclear reactor. A new mechanistic model of PAR has been presented and validated by experimental data and results of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations. The model allows to quickly and accurately predict gas temperature and composition, catalyst temperature and hydrogen recombination rate. It is assumed in the model that an exothermic recombination reaction of hydrogen and oxygen proceeds at the catalyst surface only, while processes of heat and mass transport occur by assisted natural and forced convection in non-isothermal and laminar gas flow conditions in vertical channels between catalyst plates. The model accounts for heat radiation from a hot catalyst surface and has no adjustable parameters. It can be combined with an equation of chimney draft and become a useful engineering tool for selection and optimisation of catalytic recombiner geometry.