Characteristics of Glucose

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Glucose appears in plants and animals through two different methods of production.
Glucose appears in plants and animals through two different methods of production. (Image: sugar stonehange image by Maxim Popov (MamaY) from Fotolia.com)

Glucose is a form of energy used in plants and animals. The process by which energy is used is oxidation. Physical and chemical characteristics allow glucose to work in the oxidation process the way it does in animals. Photosynthesis is the process used by plants to turn glucose to energy.

Physical Characteristics

The physical characteristic of all forms of glucose is that it is colorless. Glucose’s molecular weight is 180.18.

Chemical Characteristics

The chemical name for glucose is 6-(hydroxymethyl)oxane-2,3,4,5-tetrol. The chemical makeup of glucose is six carbon atoms, 12 hydrogen atoms and six oxygen atoms to makeup one molecule of sugar and is written as C6H12O6. Glucose is a simple monosaccharide sugar. High-energy bonds hold the glucose molecule together until the bond is broken and releases energy.

Oxidation

In order for a body to use energy, the process of glucose oxidation must take place. Oxidation is the process by which energy is obtained from glucose. It is written as C6H12O6 + 6O2 --> 6O2 + 6H2O. In order for a body to use energy, the process of glucose oxidation must take place. Oxidation is the process by which energy is obtained from glucose. It is written as C6H12O6 + 6O2 --> 6O2 + 6H2O. Glucose oxidation, also known as glycolysis, is the first step. At this time, six-carbon glucose molecules are split into two three-carbon pyruvate molecules. From here, other processes take the glucose to different forms to be stored as ATP for later use.

Photosynthesis

Glucose can also be produced in plants through a process called photosynthesis, which occurs in chloroplasts in the plant leaves. Plants use sunlight as the energy sources needed to turn carbon dioxide and water into glucose. Glucose serves many functions in a plant. Because plants cannot store a lot of glucose, they turn it into starch to be converted back to glucose and used later. Glucose can also turn into fat and proteins used by a plant.

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