d-Xylose, also referred to as "wood sugar" because it is, in the form of its polysaccharide xylan, widely distributed in woods, straw, and other fibrous tissues, usually in close association with cellulose. Acid hydrolysis of such xylans in agricultural wastes (corn cobs,99 cottonseed bulks, or other woody materials) split their b(l!4)-glycosidic linkages to d-xylose (Scheme 2.13). When more forcing acidic conditions are applied, furfural is the product due to dehydratizations (cf. see earlier in this chapter). Although d-xylose can thus be made cheaply (cf. Table 2.1 for its estimated present production), as insufficient uses have unfolded yet to make the manufacture of the sugar of commercial interest.
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Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.