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Investigating the Effect of Temperature on the Enzyme Catalase.

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Introduction

Investigating the Effect of Temperature on the Enzyme Catalase Inside our bodies thousands of chemical reactions take place in our cells. We need these reactions to happen quickly to keep us alive. Normally these reactions would be to slow but thanks to enzymes they can be performed much more quickly. And the enzyme doesn't get used up so it can move on to perform many more times. There are two main groups of enzyme, the ones that break molecules up, and ones that put molecules together. The enzyme we are looking at, Catalase is in the first category and is so called a catalyst. Since enzymes speed up chemical reactions in our bodies there often called biological catalysts. Enzymes work on substances called substrates. The reaction takes place on a part of the enzyme called the active site, which is often described as a lock and key mechanism, because the enzyme will only work with the substrate that it was made for. So Catalase will only break down hydrogen peroxide and nothing else. If our bodies didn't contain any Catalase we would most certainly die, because one of the by-products of respiration is hydrogen peroxide (a bleach) which can be very harmful if not dealt with. ...read more.

Middle

Then because of the reaction going on which I will explain later, oxygen bubbles form and lift the piece of filter paper back to the surface. When the filter paper reaches the surface we then stopped the clock. Now with our first few experiments that we did, we just heated the potato extract but left the Hydrogen peroxide at room temperature. This proved to give very similar results even with different temperatures. So we then decided to heat both the potato extract and the Hydrogen Peroxide which proved to be much more successful. Explanation Behind the Experiment The reason behind the filter paper floating back to the surface is, that when the catalase is added to the H202 it breaks down a bond in the compound leaving you with H20 and 0 (water and oxygen). The oxygen is formed above and below the filter paper but gets trapped underneath. When enough oxygen has gathered underneath the filter paper it then rises back to the surface. Investigating the Effect of Temperature on the Enzyme Catalase Preliminary experiment Temp of enzyme Test one Test two Test three Average 20�C 26 seconds 27 seconds 28 seconds 27 seconds 30�C 28.5 seconds 29.1 seconds 32 seconds 29.8 seconds 40�C 48 seconds 76 seconds - - 50�C - - - - 60�C - - - - After having done eight ...read more.

Conclusion

And because the temperature isn't too high the enzymes won't de-nature. My prediction was that the enzyme would work best around body temperature then get worse, which wasn't to far of my results. Evaluation The way in which we conducted the experiment was reasonably controlled but the amount of catalase on the filter paper could have varied slightly. Investigating the Effect of Temperature on the Enzyme Catalase The procedure could have also been improved by using fresh H2O2 with each experiment, because some of the hydrogen peroxide will have been broken down into oxygen and water. This would have then diluted the hydrogen peroxide. Overall the procedure gave reasonably reliable result with some anomalies that didn't affect the average too much. Further experiments could involve trying lower and higher temperatures, to see which temperature the enzyme would work most efficiently at and what temperature the enzyme becomes fully denatured at. Also if I were to repeat the experiment I would do more repeats of each experiment to make the average more accurate. Testing with smaller gaps in temperatures i.e. 5oC gaps rather then 10oC gaps. Would show more precisely when the enzyme becomes denatured and when it's at its most efficient. Also the use of a water-bath would have given more accurate results, because it can keep things at a constant set temperature. ...read more.

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