Sucrose diffusion in aqueous solution
The diffusion of sugar in aqueous solution is important both in nature and in technological applications, yet measurements of diffusion coefficients at low water content are scarce. We report directly measured sucrose diffusion coefficients in aqueous solution. Our technique utilises a Raman isotope tracer method to monitor the diffusion of non-deuterated and deuterated sucrose across a boundary between the two aqueous solutions. At a water activity of 0.4 (equivalent to 90 wt% sucrose) at room temperature, the diffusion coefficient of sucrose was determined to be approximately four orders of magnitude smaller than that of water in the same material. Using literature viscosity data, we show that, although inappropriate for the prediction of water diffusion, the Stokes–Einstein equation works well for predicting sucrose diffusion under the conditions studied. As well as providing information of importance to the fundamental understanding of diffusion in binary solutions, these data have technological, pharmaceutical and medical implications, for example in cryopreservation. Moreover, in the atmosphere, slow organic diffusion may have important implications for aerosol growth, chemistry and evaporation, where processes may be limited by the inability of a molecule to diffuse between the bulk and the surface of a particle.