There is a need for reuse of waste cotton lint (WCL) from the blow room of yarn spinning mills. The drive to use this material for the synthesis of nanocellulose is difficult because of the several purification/pretreatment processes. Here, we developed a combined single bath purification process of WCL and utilized it for the synthesis of nano-crystalline cellulose crystals (NCs) which are valuable nanomaterials with novel properties along with acid recovery for reuse. The micrograph of the synthesized NCs confirmed a network of nano-sized crystalline cellulose crystals having nano ranged diameter of NCs isolated by two processes. The FTIR result established the removal of impurities and hemicelluloses from WCL. The crystallinity index of WCL (∼89.97%) is improved to ∼96% and ∼94% for sulphuric acid and nitric acid synthesized NCs (NC1 and NC2). The crystallite size of WCL, CTWCL, NC1, and NC2 was calculated using XRD and found to be 101.56, 103.54, 98.81, and 95.6 nm respectively. The hydrodynamic size (Z-average) (d nm), polydispersity index and zeta potential of NCs was also studied using dynamic light scattering (DLS). The thermal stability of the NC1 is better than that of NC2. These NCs can be used as reinforcing filler/barrier material. © 2017 Elsevier B.V.