AbstractThree switchgrass cultivars (‘Performer’, ‘BoMaster’, and ‘Colony’ switchgrass) were delignified using NaOH at varying concentrations and residence times at 121 oC for improved sugar production in enzymatic hydrolysis. Because of its greater carbohydrate/lignin ratio and the more substantial lignin reduction upon alkaline attack, ‘Performer’ switchgrass gave greater sugar productions under all the pretreatment conditions investigated. Maximum sugar production from ‘Performer’ was 425 mg/g raw biomass, which was achieved at 1% NaOH and 0.5 h. Sugar production increased with the improvement of delignification until the lignin reduction reached 30%. The more severe pretreatment conditions, which led to greater lignin reductions, did not favor the increase of sugar production because of greater solid losses. Linear models were proven effective in correlating a modified severity parameter log(Mo) to lignin reduction and sugar production of ‘Performer’ switchgrass.