AbstractThe development of natural adhesives derived from non-fossil resources is very important for the future. In this study, by taking sugarcane bagasse as the raw material, without using any synthetic resin but adding some eco-friendly additives (citric acid and sucrose), low density particleboards were successfully developed. The effects of board density and additive contents on the physical and mechanical properties of the boards were investigated. The bonding mechanism was observed by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR) and X-ray diffraction (XRD). The results showed that the low density bagasse particleboard had good mechanical properties and dimensional stability relative to its low board density. The modulus of rupture (MOR) and the thickness swelling (TS) values increased with increasing board density. The board with a density of higher than 0.40 g/cm³ and manufactured at 15% additive content can meet the requirements of the Chinese national forestry industry standard LY/T 1718-2007 (2007). Based on the results of the FTIR spectra, the additive not only increased the hydrogen bond but also the molecular linkage force (C-O-C). X-ray diffraction showed the relationship between crystallinity of cellulose and the strength of particleboard.