Date of Award

Spring 1938

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Heinrich, Herbert


The object of this work was to develop an efficient laboratory method for the preparation of glucuronic acid. That compound is of particular interest to the biological chemist on account of the unusual oxidation of glucose in the process of its formation in the animal organism, and the part it plays in the detoxication mechanism in the body by yielding conjugation products with toxic substances. Since it is believed that conjugation takes place in the body between fatty acids and carbohydrate molecules similar to that of glucuronic acid and toxic substances, physiological chemists hope that a close study of this acid and its various glucosidic combinations will considerably simplify the study of metabolism. However, the laboratory methods of synthesis of this sugar acid hitherto developed are not very promising in respect to lowering costs and increasing the amounts available, and for this reason the old method of extracting the acid from animal urine is still in practice. This results in high cost and scarcity of glucuronic acid, and as a consequence, studies of metabolism which require relatively large amounts are difficult. There is, however, a possibility of preparing glucuronic acid by electrolysis, and the present research was undertaken to prepare glucuronic acid by this method, which has not yet been employed for the production of that acid. An advantage of that procedure over other ordinary laboratory processes may be seen in the fact that the principles of oxidation by electrolysis can be adopted to the preparation of the entire variety of uronic acids. In addition many conjugations may be prepared which cannot be obtained by way of the animal organism.