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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