Is liquid soluble sucrose an electrical conductor?

No solids are electrically conductive, but is liquid sucrose (C11H22O6) (when soluble) electrically conductive?

1 Answer
May 20, 2018

Sucrose is not electrically-conducting even under the molten state.


Substances and mixtures that are conductive shall be able to carry currents.

Electric current refers to the flow of electrical charge. Therefore the material in question shall contain particles that are capable of carrying such charges- most likely that they are charged themselves- and are free to move across the body. A material that is conductive shall contain mobile charged particles

As a molecular crystal, solid sucrose #"C"_11"H"_22"O"_11# contains myriads of #"C"_11"H"_22"O"_6# molecules held in place with London Dispersion Force, a type of intermolecular interaction. Melting sucrose crystals overcomes the intermolecular forces; however, doing so will not break the covalent bonds within individual molecules.

Unlike ions, #"C"_11"H"_22"O"_6# molecules are electrically neutral. One shall expect to find loads of #"C"_11"H"_22"O"_6# molecules within a pool full of pure molten sucrose and nothing else- no charged particles.

As a result, sucrose won't conduct electricity even if melted.