Sugarcane bagasse pretreated by three different procedures (with 2% [v/v] polyethyleneimine (PEI), with 2% [w/v] NaOH, or with a sequence of NaOH and PEI) was used as cell immobilization carrier for xylitol production by Candida guilliermondii yeast. Fermentations using these pretreated carriers were performed in semidefined medium and in a hydrolysate medium produced from sugarcane bagasse hemicellulose. Sugarcane bagasse pretreated with NaOH was the best carrier obtained with respect to immobilization efficiency, because it was able to immobilize a major quantity of cells (0.30 g of cells/g of bagasse). Fermentation in semidefined medium using the NaOH-pretreated carrier attained a high efficiency of xylose-to-xylitol bioconversion (96% of the theoretical value). From hydrolysate medium, the bioconversion efficiency was lower (63%), probably owing to the presence of other substances in the medium that caused an inadequate mass transfer to the cells. In this fermentation medium, better results with relation to xylitol production were obtained by using PEI-pretreated carrier (xylose-to-xylitol bioconversion of 81% of the theoretical and volumetric productivity of 0.43 g/[L.h]). The results showed that sugarcane bagasse is a low-cost material with great potential for use as cell immobilization carrier in the fermentative process for xylitol production.