When a reaction of sugar and sulfuric acid occurs, some form of carbon is produced. Is this carbon bonded as graphite? If not, than what is it bonded as?

$\ce{C6H12O6 ->[H2SO4] 6C + 6 H2O }$

  • $\begingroup$ @A.K. Wow, that was really dumb of me, I didn't double check my chemical reaction and somehow convinced myself that carbon was the output. $\endgroup$ Mar 13 '16 at 5:42
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    $\begingroup$ @A.K. Revised question to valid chemical equation. $\endgroup$ Mar 13 '16 at 6:53
  • $\begingroup$ Related: chemistry.stackexchange.com/questions/15442/… $\endgroup$
    – Curt F.
    Oct 8 '16 at 14:01

The product is not pure elemental carbon, but instead an amorphous solid that consists of mostly carbon atoms, with at least 5-10% of the atoms being other elements. For example, one academic paper from 2001 found that the "carbon" formed by sulfuric acid catalyzed dehydration of sugar had a $\ce{C}:\ce{H}$ molar ratio of 14:1.

Such materials are sometimes called hydrogenated amorphous carbon.


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