Abstract The kinetics of enzymatic saccharification of ball-milled sugar-cane bagasse, sorghum stubble and peanut shells was studied and their conversions compared. Particle size analyses were performed on the bagasse sample and pure cellulose (Solka-Floc). It was revealed that most of the size reduction of cellulose particle took place between 0 5% conversion. Means of using commercially available ultrafiltration units as continuous-flow membrane reactors to reduce glucose inhibition were tested and compared using Solka-Floc as substrate. It was pointed out that a low conversion CSTR placed between a ball-mill and a hollow-fibre cartridge could reduce the cost of pretreatment and prevent possible blockage of hollow fibres.