Cotton stalk, a lignocellulosic waste material, is composed of xylose that can be used as a raw material for production of xylitol, a high-value product. There is a growing interest in the use of lignocellulosic wastes for conversion into various chemicals because of their low cost and the fact that they are renewable and abundant. The objective of the study was to determine the effects of H(2)SO(4) concentration, temperature, and reaction time on the production of sugars (xylose, glucose, and arabinose) and on the reaction by-products (furfural and acetic acid). Response surface methodology was used to optimize the hydrolysis process in order to obtain high xylose yield and selectivity. The optimum reaction temperature, reaction time, and acid concentration were 140 A degrees C, 15 min, and 6%, respectively. Under these conditions, xylose yield and selectivity were found to be 47.88% and 2.26 g g(-1), respectively.