The process employed for the pulping and bleaching of sorghum straw was optimized prior to the synthesis of cellulose acetate. A 22 factorial central composite design was carried out. The variables considered were cooking time (1.5 to 2.5 h) and dilute alkali concentration (0.75 to 1.25%) for the pulping and bleaching time (30 to 35 min) and bleach volume (20 to 25 mL) for the bleaching. The sorghum straw was comprised of 49.43% α-cellulose, 19.18% hemicellulose and 30.42% lignin. The optimum conditions that maximize these processes were 2.5 h and 1.25% (dilute alkali concentration) at 90 °C, and 35 min and 25 mL (bleach volume) at 80 °C, respectively, providing pulps with a low Kappa number (<3) and lignin content, and cellulose with a high degree of crystallinity. The 1H NMR, XRD, FTIR spectroscopy, SEM and thermal analysis demonstrated that it is possible to synthetize cellulose acetate (with 2.62 degrees of substitution) by acetylating bleached pulp for 16 h at 25 °C.