Elucidating the reaction pathway of glucose electrooxidation to its valuable products: the Influence of mass transport and electrode potential on the product distribution

25 April 2023, Version 1
This content is a preprint and has not undergone peer review at the time of posting.


Converting glucose electrochemically to its valuable derivatives, gluconic and glucaric acid, is a promising process for the utilization of renewable carbon sources. Understanding the reaction pathway to form glucaric acid from glucose is key in performing the process efficiently. In this study we investigate the influence of mass transport as well as electrode potential on the product distribution in glucose, gluconic acid and glucuronic acid oxidation on a gold disk in an RDE-setup. We find glucose and glucuronic acid to be easily oxidized, while the oxidation of gluconic acid is kinetically limited. Combining DFT calculations and the experimental results, we show that on gold, the oxidation of aldehyde groups proceeds readily while the oxidation of hydroxyl groups is challenging and occurs indiscriminately on C-atoms in glucose and its derivatives. Additionally, the DFT calculation present a reaction pathway which can explain the absence of glucuronic acid in the conducted experiments.


Glucose oxidation reaction
Gold electrode
glucaric acid
gluconic acid
value-added chemical production

Supplementary materials

Supplementary Materials
Supplementary Materials with calibration curves and information on the calculations


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