Glucose is an example of a carbohydrate which is commonly encountered. It is also known as blood sugar, and dextrose.

chemical formula for sugar glucose


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Its chemical formula is C6H12O6, and this empirical formula is shared by other sugars - called hexoses - 6 carbon sugars. You may wish to know in some detail how these 24 atoms are arranged in the molecule of glucose – the structural formula. In some books you may see diagrams of the glucose molecule looking like this: This so-called stick diagram really only describes how things are in dry (powder) glucose. Note that there is an oxygen atom forming part of the ring, and that there are simple lines drawn making up the rest of the ring, and a section sticking out to one side.

These lines represent carbon atoms, and -H and -OH groups, most of which have been left out for simplicity. Sometimes the details of just some of these -H and -OH groups are drawn in at one end (or both ends). This is because the orientation of these groups slightly alters the chemistry of the molecule, so the resulting molecules are given different names. In alpha glucose the -H group of the rightmost Carbon atom (C1) is above the plane of the ring, whereas it projects below the ring in beta glucose.

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    There are in fact 3 versions of the ring structure called chairs and boat, depending on the bending in or out of the left and right corners, but it is easier to draw it as a flat hexagon.
    Some of the lines may be thickened or flared out to give an impression of 3D structure on the page All the other groups can vary in different hexose sugars, which result in slightly different chemical properties.
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    It is worth knowing the numbers used to describe each of the 6 carbon atoms. This numbering is important when glucose units are joined together.
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    Repeating the condensation process will result in the polysaccharide starch, which is considered to have 2 components, amylose and amylopectin.
    The chain of 1-4 linkages so formed can be quite long, and may wind up into a helix. This is the situation in amylose, (a linear part of which is shown here): On the other hand, 1-6 linkage causes the formation of a branching point which then allows another chain of 1-4 linkages to develop.
    This 3-D branching also produces other points at which glucose may be added by condensation or removed by hydrolysis. This branching occurs in amylopectin, (a small section of which is shown here): This basically explains the structure of starch and glycogen.
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    Some computer programs can display molecular structure in a variety of formats.
    The picture below is a single still image of the glucose molecule from Rasmol, which requires a special plug-in called Chime® in order to work in your browser.
    A more convenient alternative is to use the open source Java applet Jmol. Several What is the Equation for table sugar and sulfuric acid use this to show features of "simple" biochemical molecules.

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    Click here to see a file showing the Chemical formula for sugar using Jmol, which opens up the opportunity to see and interact with other molecules in 3 dimensions.
    If you are very long-suffering, Chime® is available to download free from Carbohydrates, after a tedious registration process.
    Once you have this plug-in installed you will be able to access a moveable 3-D image when you click on the image below, and you will also be able to alter the display in a number of ways.
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    Simple sugars are carbohydrates. Glucose and fructose are monosaccharides and sucrose is a disaccharide of the two combined with a bond.
    Glucose and fructose have the same molecular formula (C6H12O6) but glucose has a six member ring and fructose has a five member ring structure.
    Fructose is known as the fruit sugar as its make source in the diet is fruits and vegetables. Honey is also a good source.