AbstractEfficient pretreatment is the key step in catalytic biomass conversion. Herein, a mixed ball-milling method was used to pretreat cellulose with a solid catalyst. The method was tested with solid acid and commercial 5 wt% Ru/C in water, and the effect of pretreatment on yield was measured by the hydrolytic-hydrogenation of cellulose to sugar alcohols, which are the platform compounds for the production of gasoline and fine chemicals. The influence of ball-milling mode, time, and reaction parameters was studied. The properties of cellulose and the catalyst were also analyzed before and after treatment. The yield of sugar alcohols reached 90.3% at 463 K with amorphous zirconium phosphate (ZrP) and Ru/C and a mixed ball-milling time of 2 h. The high sugar alcohol yield was achieved 12 times faster than with the single ball-milling method under the same reaction conditions for 24 h. This effect is ascribed to the enhanced contact between cellulose and catalyst, which promotes the rate-determined cellulose depolymerization to obtain high sugar alcohols yield.