In ethanol production from cellulose, enzymatic hydrolysis, and fermentative conversion may be performed sequentially (separate hydrolysis and fermentation, SHF) or in a single reaction vessel (simultaneous saccharification and fermentation, SSF). Opting for either is essentially a trade-off between optimal temperatures and inhibitory glucose concentrations on the one hand (SHF) vs. sub-optimal temperatures and ethanol-inhibited cellulolysis on the other (SSF). Although the impact of ethanol on cellobiose hydrolysis was found to be negligible, formation of glucose and cellobiose from cellulose were found to be significantly inhibited by ethanol. A previous model for the kinetics of enzymatic cellulose hydrolysis was, therefore, extended with enzyme inhibition by ethanol, thus allowing a rational evaluation of SSF and SHF. The model predicted SSF processing to be superior. The superiority of SSF over SHF (separate hydrolysis and fermentation) was confirmed experimentally, both with respect to ethanol yield on glucose (0.41 g g-1 for SSF vs. 0.35 g g-1 for SHF) and ethanol production rate, being 30% higher for an SSF type process. High conversion rates were found to be difficult to achieve since at a conversion rate of 52% in a SSF process the reaction rate dropped to 5% of its initial value. The model, extended with the impact of ethanol on the cellulase complex proved to predict reaction progress accurately.