Lignocellulosic ethanol production at high temperature offers advantages such as the decrease of contamination risk and cooling cost. Recombinant xylose-fermenting Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been considered a promising strain for ethanol production from lignocellulose for its high inhibitor tolerance and superior capability to ferment glucose and xylose into ethanol. To improve the ethanolic fermentation by xylose at high temperature, the strain YY5A was subjected to the ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) mutagenesis. A mutant strain T5 was selected from the EMS-treated cultures to produce ethanol. However, the xylose uptake by T5 was severely inhibited by the high ethanol concentration during the co-fermentation in defined YPDX medium at 40 °C. In this study, the simultaneous saccharification and co-fermentation (SSCF) and the separate hydrolysis and co-fermentation (SHCF) processes of sugarcane bagasse were assessed to solve this problem. The xylose utilization by T5 was remarkably improved using the SSCF process compared to the SHCF process. For the SHCF and SSCF processes, 48% and 99% of the xylose in the hydrolysate was consumed at 40 °C, respectively. The ethanol yield was enhanced by the SSCF process. The ethanol production can reach to 36.0 g/L using this process under high-temperature conditions.