What is Glucose?

Glucose is a simple sugar with six carbon atoms and one aldehyde group. This monosaccharide has a chemical formula C6H12O6.

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It is also known as dextrose. It is referred to as aldohexose as it contains 6 carbon atoms and an aldehyde group. It can open in two forms, open-chain or ring structure. It is synthesized in the liver and kidneys of animals. In plants, it is found in fruits and in different parts of plants. D- glucose is the naturally occurring form of glucose. It can occur either in the solid or liquid form. It is water-soluble and is also soluble in acetic acid. It is odourless and sweet to taste. In the year 1747, Andreas Marggraf a German chemist isolated glucose from raisins. In the year 1838, Jean Baptiste Dumas coined the word glucose.

Table of Content

Structure of Glucose – C6H12O6

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Properties of Glucose – C6H12O6


C6H12O6Glucose
Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass180.16 g/mol
Density1.54 g/cm³
Melting Point146 °C
Simple sugarMonosaccharide

Glucose can be called as aldohexose as well as dextrose. It is a monomer of many larger compounds such as carbohydrates, starch, and cellulose. On earth, this is the most abundant organic compounds. On the basis of the following evidence it was assigned the structure illustrated above:

It has a molecular formula of C6H12O6When HI is heated for a long time, n-hexane is formed which indicates that all the six carbon atoms are linked in a straight chain.The oxime is formed when glucose reacts with hydroxylamine and cyanohydrins on the addition of hydrogen cyanide to it. This reaction can confirm the presence of the carbonyl group in glucose.The presence of -OH group is confirmed after the acetylation of glucose with acetic acid which gives glucose pentaacetate.Glucose as well as gluconic acid both yields dicarboxylic acid and saccharic acid on oxidation with nitric acid. The presence of primary alcohol is indicated by this.

Preparation Of Glucose (C6H12O6)

Sucrose (cane sugar) and starch are the two major sources of Glucose.

Preparation from sucrose or cane sugar:

Sucrose is a disaccharide with formula C12H22O11. On boiling aqueous solution of sucrose with dilute HCl or dilute H2SO4 , Glucose and Fructose are formed in equimolar proportions.

C12H22O11 + H2O → C6H12O6 + C6H12O6

Sucrose Glucose Fructose

Preparation from starch: 

It is a polysaccharide which when boiled with dilute H2SO4 at 393 K under 2 to 3 atmosphere pressure, gives glucose.

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( C6H12O5)n + n H2O → nC6H12O6

Starch Glucose

Uses Of Glucose (C6H12O6)

It is used in the treatment of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)It is given to patients who are very sick and cannot eat as it provides carbohydrate caloriesIt is used in the treatment of increased potassium levels in the blood (hyperkalemia)It is used as a precursor for the synthesis of substance.

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