How would we represent the oxidation of sucrose to give oxalic acid with nitric acid oxidant?

1 Answer
Mar 8, 2017

Answer:

Sucrose (probably) is oxidized up to oxalic acid

Explanation:

#C_12H_22O_11 +13H_2O rarr 6HO(O=)C-C(=O)OH +36H^+ + 36e^-#

Carbon is formally zerovalent, i.e. a #C^0# oxidation state, and is oxidized to #C^(+III)# in oxalic acid.

And nitrate is reduced to #NO_2#:

#HNO_3 +H^(+) + e^(-) rarr NO_2 + H_2O#

So we add 36 reductions reactions to one of the oxidations:

#C_12H_22O_11 +36HNO_3 rarr 6HO(O=)C-C(=O)OH +36NO_2 + 23H_2O #

As far as I can tell, this reaction is balanced. The reaction represents the oxidation of #C^0# up to #C^(+III)#.