This paper reports a detailed numerical investigation on mixed convection flow of a polar fluid through a porous medium due to the combined effects of thermal and mass diffusion. The energy equation accounts for heat generation or absorption, while the nth order homogeneous chemical reaction between the fluid and the diffusing species is included in the mass diffusion equation. The governing equations of the linear momentum, angular momentum, energy and concentration are obtained in a non-similar form by introducing a suitable group of transformations. The final set of non-similar coupled non-linear partial differential equations is solved using an implicit finite-difference scheme in combination with quasi-linearization technique. The effects of various parameters on the velocity, angular velocity, temperature and concentration fields are investigated. Numerical results for the skin friction coefficient, wall stress of angular velocity, Nusselt number and Sherwood number are also presented. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.