This study aims to valorize microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) using protonated zeolite catalysts such as (H-ZSM-5) and Cr/H-ZSM-5 (5 %) in ionic liquid. The catalytic effect in synergy with 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium Chloride ([BMIM] Cl) ionic liquid was studied in detail. The total reducing sugar (TRS) was determined using 3, 5-dinitrisalcylic acid (DNS) array method. The catalysts were characterized using techniques such as Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR), X-ray diffraction analysis (XRD), temperature-programmed desorption of ammonia (NH3-TPD), and BET-surface area analyzer. H-ZSM-5 effectively depolymerized cellulose with a maximum yield of 70% total reducing sugar (34% glucose, 8% fructose, and 4.5% 5-HMF) Cr/H-ZSM-5 catalyst dehydrates fructose to 5-HMF with a yield of 53%. The use of ionic liquid significantly reduced the activation energy of formation and decomposition. The activation energy determined in cellulose hydrolysis was 85.83 KJ mol− 1 for a reaction time of 180 min while the decomposition energy was found to be 42.5 kJ mol− 1.