The report discusses laboratory methods for conversion of cellulosic wastes to levoglucosan, levulinic acid, glyoxal, and active carbon using thermal reactions. Thermal degradation reactions were carried out using pure cellulose, as control, and several types of recovered materials. These reactions yielded a variety of products that could be separated into char, tar, volatile liquid and gas fractions. Useful grades of active carbon were recovered from the chars; pure cellulose tar contained significant amounts of levoglucosan but contaminants in the recovered materials drastically reduced the sugar yields. Acid catalysis, under aqueous conditions, provided reasonable yields of levulinic acid, a compound of commercial value.