When pretreating biomass under harsh conditions (extreme pHs and high temperatures), biomass chemical components will degrade into by-products that become inhibitors for the subsequent processing. However, moderate pretreatment can be developed to avoid sugar degradation and toxic compounds formation during pretreatment. As a result, a whole slurry process without inter-stage washing/detoxification can be used, which can significantly reduce capital/operational cost. A moderate pretreatment must remove some lignin but do not break down lignin to simple compounds.It should achieve some defibrillization without much sugar degradation. In a word, It is enough as long as cell wall pores/channels are opened. "Over pretreatment" may improve cellulose accessibility but inevitably cause other chemical components degradation. The right degree of pretreatment is the key.