Different pretreatment technologies published in public literature are described in terms of the mechanisms involved, advantages and disadvantages, and economic assessment. Pretreatment technologies for lignocellulosic biomass include biological, mechanical, chemical methods and various combinations thereof. The choice of the optimum pretreatment process depends very much on the objective of the biomass pretreatment, its economic assessment and environmental impact. Only a small number of pretreatment methods has been reported as being potentially cost-effective thus far. These include steam explosion, liquid hot water, concentrated acid hydrolysis and dilute acid pretreatments.