I am fully versed and practiced in column distilation.
Cellulose is particularly tough stuff to break up, that's why using enzymes is one favoured approach. Other than that you need some fairly aggressive chemistry. If you can break cellulose into sugars it can be fermented, then distilled. But you'd want a sophisticated fractional-still to get fuel-grade ethanol out.
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Cellulose is very difficult to ferment but the usual methods of adding water to shredded cellulose and keeping warm should produce alcohol that you can then distill off. It may be a slow process.HOWEVER at l;east in the UK this would be illegal so check you local laws. I expect you have looked at this http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cellulosic_ethanolYou may expect about 18 gals per ton if lucky.