Abstract Biomass pyrolysis offers a fast route to produce elevated yields towards highly valued liquid products. This research aims the determination of optimal experimental conditions for a slow and low temperature pyrolysis to produce the highest yield towards condensable (CVM) and non-condensable (NCVM) volatile matter from Mexican cane bagasse and to quantify and characterize the compounds that constitute CVM and NCVM obtained. Results indicate that yield towards volatiles is strongly dependent on temperature. The highest yield was achieved at temperatures greater than 500 °C at a heating rate of 10 °C/min, residence time of 60 min and a particle size between of 420 and 840 μm. Product quantification under isothermal conditions determined that at 550 °C the NCVM, CVM and solid residue was of 26, 57 and 16%, respectively. Preliminary thermodynamic analysis of steam reforming and CO2 absorption reactions using one of the main CVM products resulted in a potential high hydrogen production yield.