Is Glucose (C6H12O6) an Electrolyte? (And Why?)

No, glucose (C6H12O6) is not an electrolyte. Glucose does not dissociate into ions when dissolved in water and, therefore, does not conduct electricity in solution. It remains as intact molecules in the solution, making it a non-electrolyte.

Well, this was just a simple answer. But there are few more things to know about this topic which will make your concept super clear.

So let’s dive right into it.

Why is glucose a non-electrolyte?

Glucose is considered a non-electrolyte because it does not dissociate into ions when dissolved in water. An electrolyte is a substance that, when dissolved in a solvent like water, forms charged particles called ions, which can conduct electricity. 1 These ions are responsible for the electrical conductivity of the solution.

In the case of glucose, it is a simple sugar and a monosaccharide with the molecular formula C6H12O6. 2

When glucose dissolves in water, it remains in its molecular form, and it does not break down into charged particles or ions. Instead, it exists as individual glucose molecules dispersed throughout the water, and it does not contribute to the electrical conductivity of the solution.

In contrast, substances like sodium chloride (NaCl) or potassium nitrate (KNO3) are electrolytes because they dissociate into positively charged sodium ions (Na+) and negatively charged chloride ions (Cl-) or potassium ions (K+) and nitrate ions (NO3-) when dissolved in water, respectively.

These ions can freely move in the solution and carry an electric charge, allowing the solution to conduct electricity.

In summary, glucose is a non-electrolyte because it does not ionize or dissociate into charged particles in water, and thus, it does not conduct electricity in an aqueous solution.

Further reading

Is CH3OH (Methanol) an Electrolyte?
Why is HCl a Strong Electrolyte?
Why is NaOH a Strong Electrolyte?
Is NH3 (Ammonia) a Strong or Weak Electrolyte?
Is HF a Strong Electrolyte?

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  1. 11.2: Ions in Solution (Electrolytes). (2016, May 9). Chemistry LibreTexts.
  2. Glucose – Wikipedia. (2021, May 13). Glucose – Wikipedia.

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