AbstractA process scheme combining the most suitable ionic liquid pretreatment, followed by solid acid and enzymatic saccharification was used to maximize the reducing sugars recovery from sago waste. Three types of ionic liquids, i.e. 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ([BMIM]Cl), 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate ([EMIM][OAc]) and 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium diethyl phosphate ([EMIM][(EtO)2PO2]) were evaluated based on their performance in terms of the total reducing sugars recovery, chemical cost, and pretreatment energy requirement. The results showed that all the ionic liquids assisted the saccharification processes by dissolving and depolymerizing the carbohydrates of the sago waste into shorter chain soluble oligosaccharides, as well as disrupting the biomass structure to produce an amorphous pretreated solid residue. The solid acid saccharifications of the prehydrolysates obtained from the [BMIM]Cl pretreatment gave the highest reducing sugars recovery (61-63%) irrespective of the solid acid catalyst employed. On the other hand, enzymatic saccharification of [EMIM][OAc] pretreated solid residues showed the highest reducing sugars recovery (29%). A maximum recovery of 90% reducing sugars was achieved via incorporation of the ionic liquid pretreatment, solid acid and enzymatic saccharifications using [BMIM]Cl, Amberlyst 15 (A15) and Trichoderma viride cellulase respectively. This study suggests that the combined sequential process can maximize the reducing sugars recovery from sago waste effectively.