This process breaks the long cellulose and hemicellulose chains
into simple sugars. Cellulose yields primarily glucose (a six-carbon
sugar) whereas hemicellulose, in the region of 20% of the material,
gives a mixture including several five-carbon sugars.
Methods of hydrolysis include using enzymes and using dilute
or concentrated acids. Whereas in the past hydrochloric or hydrofluoric
acid may have been used, sulphuric acid is found in newer processes.