Is adding sugar to lemonade a physical or chemical change?

1 Answer
Mar 29, 2018


Depends how technical you want to get. Generally, it is a physical change.


Sugar dissolving is like you unstacking a room full of boxes. Each box is a glucose molecule, and so you have to go in and grab each one and toss it out separately. This is basically the dissolving process. All the glucose are still......glucose, so no reaction.

Now technically, glucose in it's cyclic form has a linkage called a hemiacetal, and this linkage can break, particularly in the presence of #H^+# ions. Lemonade doesn't have a ton of #H^+# ions, but the reaction would occur a bit more. The reaction already occurs in solution (in an equilibrium), but might be more likely to react in acidic lemonade.

I'd stick with physical change.