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Find out what affect the surface area of a potato chip has on the rate of reaction between the Catalase enzyme in it and Hydrogen Peroxide.

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Catalase Investigation: Aim: to find out what affect the surface area of a potato chip has on the rate of reaction between the Catalase enzyme in it and Hydrogen Peroxide. This investigation is going to see how quickly the catalase enzyme breaks down the hydrogen peroxide in different lengths of potato slices (1cm in width and breadth). Enzymes are biological catalysts that speed up chemical reactions in our cells. Catalase is a fast acting breaker enzyme that works on Hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is highly caustic (it burns) so you must take great care when near it, and wear eye and hand protection if you are handling it. It is used as a decontaminant in water supplies. Unfortunately H2O2 (hydrogen peroxide) is also a natural metabolite of many organisms (including potatoes), which would kill them if not for the catalase enzyme they produce to decompose the H2O2 into harmless oxygen and water. This is a very important reaction in all organisms, as the H2O2 would destroy cells if not broken down quickly. Our own liver has a very high concentration of catalase to remove H2O2 as quickly as possible so minimal damage is done. There are two main types of enzyme, Builders and breakers (Catalase is a breaker) these diagrams explain how they work: Builders: Breakers Not all reaction attempts result in products: For reactions that involve two or more molecules hitting together to react, chemists know that not all the collisions that molecules have are successful. The theory to try and explain why not all reaction attempts by molecules are successful is called the collision theory. Collision Theory: A chemical reaction can only occur between particles when they collide (hit each other), and they have the correct orientation for the reaction to occur successfully. Particles may be atoms, ions or molecules. There is a minimum amount of energy which colliding particles need in order to react with each other. ...read more.


Fair test: To keep the experiment a fair test we shall keep the potato chips submerged in water until they are required for testing this is to keep them fresh as if it was not done then the chips may oxidise on the surface reducing the area that reacts with the H2O2. Also take great care in measuring so that the results are accurate. Make sure that the measuring cylinder is refilled with water after each test so that the previous gas given off is not added to the next ruining results. We shall measure and keep the temperature constant (27O C room temperature) throughout the experiment to prevent this factor from changing the results. We shall also measure and maintain a level pH of 7.0. The substrate concentration I have realised would be used up in the experiment so would decrease as the experiment is carried out. We can however improve this by increasing the volume of hydrogen peroxide at the start, which would lower the concentration change of the substrate. We are of course changing the enzyme surface area and we are going to measure the chip sizes very carefully and accurately, using a ruler. Safety: Always wear goggles in case any unpredicted accidents occur, wear gloves and take great care when handling the hydrogen peroxide, if under the age of 14 get an adult to supervise the experiment and make sure you can get to a tap to clean your hands after testing. Get an adult to use the knife if you aren't already one and cut up the potato chips carefully and accurately using a ruler. Equipment: Test tube rack, measuring cylinder, stop clock, container filled with water, test tubes, stand, clamps, plug with tube, potato chips in water (1x1 in breadth and depth), knife, tile, ruler, gloves, Hydrogen peroxide (20 volume), goggles, universal indicator and thermometer. Diagram: Method: 1. ...read more.


This would reduce the chance for anomalous results. I would do this by weighing out chips of the same mass then dissecting them into 1/2s, 1/4s, 1/6s etc. this would give me the total surface area I would need without any unnecessary change in mass. To validate the results of this experiment we could easily carry out another investigation to see if the results compliment each other. For example, I could improve on this experiment and instead of taking different sized chips, I could take 1 size of chip (which would remove the problem and possibility of a mass factor) and dissect it into 1/2s 1/4s and 1/6ths. Method 2: 1. Place three boiling tubes in a boiling tube rack, and fill them with 20ml of hydrogen peroxide by using a measuring cylinder. Also, ensure that the temperature is at the enzymes optimum. 2. Cut the potato into required size. First I shall test a whole chip with the surface area of 226.2mm, then two half chips with a surface area of 317.2mm then four quarter chips with a surface area of 385.3mm and finally six, 6ths of a chip with a surface area of 430.5mm. 3. Measure the amount of gas produced every 30 seconds. Repeat every surface area three times and take an average. 4. The experiment will be kept fair, as I will only change the one variable at a time. 5. I will be wearing goggles to prevent damage to my eyes if any hydrogen peroxide is accidentally spilt. Predicted results graph: I predict that the new experiment would give off similar results to our original one, i.e. the greater the surface area, the more contact between the catalaze enzyme and the hydrogen peroxide, and therefore more gas is given off quicker, thus altogether giving large evidence for the collision theory and proving that surface area has as a great positive correlation affect to the rate of a reaction, weather it be for enzymes or chemicals. Paul Jefferyes 11E Mr Rowell 08/05/07 1 1/16 ...read more.

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