AbstractThe objective of this work was to extract and bleach cellulose from a low-value agricultural waste, namely, olive tree branches. The extraction procedure began by subjecting finely powdered olive tree branches to alkaline treatment, using different concentrations of sodium hydroxide solution to remove/dissolve the non-cellulosic cementing constituents, such as pectin, hemicelluloses, and natural waxes from the structure of this lignocellulosic network. The second step of the extraction procedure was the oxidation/bleaching treatment, and for this purpose, a powerful oxidizing agent composed of sodium chlorite/triethanolamine salt was used. All factors and conditions affecting the bleaching reaction, including triethanolamine salt concentration, bleaching temperature, and utilization of different triethanolamine salts, were extensively studied. The efficiency of the bleaching/oxidation treatment was evaluated by recording the FTIR spectra of the samples before and after extraction and analyzing the bleached samples to estimate the carboxyl content, loss in weight, and whiteness index.