AbstractThe epidermis layer waste (ELW) and the inner layer waste (ILW) were removed from Phyllostachys pubescens bamboo, and the anatomical characteristics and chemical components of these wastes were comparatively investigated. Both the ELW and ILW were subjected to a microwave-assisted liquefaction process to evaluate the relationship between bamboo properties and liquefaction behavior. The results indicated that higher vessel and parenchyma percentages and lower cellulose and lignin contents in ILW contributed to lower residue content, while higher fiber percentage and cellulose or lignin contents in ELW resulted in higher residue content. Recondensation took place during the liquefaction of ELW, which was indicated by small granules appearing on the liquefied residue surface according to SEM images. The intense bands corresponding to hemicellulose and lignin in the FT-IR spectrum of the liquefied ELW residue gave further evidence that the liquefaction of ELW is a complex solvolysis process involving simultaneous reactions of chemical degradation and recondensation.