A pretreatment composition and pretreatment process utilizing the composition is described. The pretreatment composition includes an aqueous organic solvent in combination with an alkaline component and an oxidizing agent. The pretreatment composition is useful for treating biomass as may be utilized in forming biofuel, paper, or other useful products. The biomass to be treated can include cellulosic biomass, lignocellulosic biomass, or a combination thereof.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH
 This invention was made with government support under Bioethanol Collaborative Grant no. 20-207-xxxx-0312-219-1096946 awarded by the Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.