AbstractThe kinetics of cellulose decomposition in ionic liquid was investigated using microcrystalline cellulose as a raw material. Curve fitting of cellulose degradation kinetic data was carried out by MATLAB. Experimental results demonstrated that the cellulose decomposition rate constant, k1, was less than the constant for glucose decomposition to 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF), k2, in the ionic liquid system, gaining a larger gap with increasing temperature. Results indicated that cellulose degradation is a slow reaction compared with glucose decomposition, which controls the speed of the overall reaction steps. CrCl3 increased the rate constant of cellulose and glucose degradation to almost the same degree, thus achieving simultaneous conversion of cellulose, glucose, and 5-HMF. Compared with other reaction systems, the ionic liquid system considerably reduced activation energy. Regression analysis of kinetic data indicated that the catalytic decomposition reactions of cellulose, glucose, and 5-HMF are all first-order reactions.