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H2SO4 + Sugar Reaction?

  1. Oct 7, 2006 #1

    My chem teacher in high school did a demo 2-3 years ago, which I know involved sulfuric acid and either glucose or sucrose. I believe it was an acid-catalysed reaction which demonstrated the instant release of the energy stored in the sugar as opposed to conversion to ATP. Does anyone know what reaction this is, and how it is carried out?

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 7, 2006 #2
    This reaction can be performed with either glucose or surcrose (or almost any organic material for that matter). Sulfuric acid is a very strong dehydrating agent, that is, it has a strong affinity for water. It is such a strong dehydrating agent that it "sucks" out the water from the sugar.

    The reaction with surcrose is C12H22O11 --> 11H2O + 12C
    The sulfuric acid absorbs the water formed and forms a hydrate. The carbon created is in the form of graphite.
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