Liquefaction of bamboo was performed in glycerol–methanol as co-solvent using microwave energy and was evaluated by characterizing the liquefied residues. High efficiency conversion of bamboo was achieved under mild reaction conditions. Liquefaction temperature and time interacted to affect the liquefaction reaction. Fourier transform infrared analyzes of the residues indicated that hemicellulose and lignin could easily undergo recondensation. Thermogravimetric analysis results showed that residues obtained at higher temperature/longer reaction time displayed a superior thermal stability as compared to those obtained from mild conditions. Moreover, significant differences were observed in the morphology and structures of residues from different liquefaction conditions according to scanning electron microscopy images. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J. Appl. Polym. Sci. 2014, 131, 40207.