This study evaluated a cost-effective approach for the conversion of rice straw into fermentable sugars. The composition of rice straw pretreated with 1 % sulfuric acid or 1 % sodium hydroxide solution was compared to rice straw with no chemical pretreatment. Enzymatic saccharification experiments on non-pretreated rice straw (NPRS), pretreated rice straw (PRS), and pretreated rice straw with acid hydrolysate (PRSAH) were conducted in a series of batch reactors. The results indicated that pretreating the rice straw with dilute acid and base increased the cellulose content from 38 % to over 50 %. During enzymatic saccharification, straight aliphatic cellulose was hydrolyzed before branched hemicellulose, and glucose was the major hydrolysis product. The glucose yield was 0.52 g glucose/g for NPRS and was comparable to the yields of 0.50 g glucose/g for PRS and 0.58 g glucose/g for PRSAH. The hydrolysis of rice straw to produce glucose can be described by a first-order reaction with a rate constant of 0.0550 d(-1) for NPRS, 0.0653 d(-1) for PRSAH, and 0.0654 d(-1) for PRS. Overall, the production of fermentable sugars from ground rice straw will be more cost effective if the straw is not pretreated with chemicals.