The hydrothermal liquefaction(HTL) of cornstalk was carried out on a batch-mode reactor under different reaction conditions through orthogonal experiment design. The experimental variables were reaction temperature(250-350℃), time(0-60 min) and solid content(5%-15%). The characteristics of HTL products were analyzed from several levels such as elements, functional groups, the main chemicals and microstructure. The results showed that the optimum conditions for HTL were temperature 300℃, time 30 min, solid content 5%, at which the yields of biocrude oil(BO), solid residues(SR) and others(gas and liquid) were 22.85%, 15.02% and 62.13% and the liquefaction rate was 84.98%. The HTL operational parameters significantly affected the products distribution and conversion. The degradation degree of components was different under different reaction conditions, which resulted in the biocrude oil yields of 8.31%-22.85%, with HHV of 30.56-32.69 MJ/kg, the aqueous phase TOC content of 7 711.5-12 336.0 mg/L and different composition and surface morphology occurring in solid residues. FT-IR results showed that the functional group distribution of bio-crude oils was similar and indicated the species of compounds in biocrude oils under different liquefaction conditions were similar. GC-MS results showed that major compounds of biocruded oil include phenols, ketones, organic acids, aldehydes, alcohols, nitrogen-containing compounds and furans.