Tobacco stalk (TS), a major agricultural waste in the Black Sea region of Turkey, was used for the production of xylooligosaccharides (XOs). It contains about 22 g/100 g xylan whose composition was determined as 93.5 g/100 g xylose, 6.54 g/100 g glucose and 11.2 g/100 g uronic acid after complete acid hydrolysis. XO production was performed by enzymatic and acid hydrolysis of xylan which was obtained by alkali extraction from tobacco stalk. In enzyme hydrolysis, xylan was hydrolyzed using a xylanase preparation and the effects of pH, temperature, hydrolysis period, substrate and enzyme concentrations on the xylooligosaccharide yield and degree of polymerization were investigated. For enzymatic hydrolysis under optimum conditions XO yield with respect to tobacco stalk xylan (TSX) was 8.2 g/100 g after 8 h and 11.4 g/100 g after 24 h reaction period. In the acid hydrolysis, sulfuric acid was used and the hydrolyzate contained different amount of oligosaccharides and monosaccharides. For acid hydrolysis under optimum conditions, XO yield with respect to TSX was 13.0 g/100 g. Enzymatically obtained oligosaccharides were purified via ultrafiltration by using 10 and 3 kDa membranes. After a two-step membrane processing, the permeate containing mostly oligosaccharides was obtained. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.