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Investigating the effect of surface area on the rate of an enzyme controlled reaction between hydrogen peroxide and potato tissue.

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Biology Enzyme Investigation Investigating the effect of surface area on the rate of an enzyme controlled reaction between hydrogen peroxide and potato tissue ENZYME: An organic catalyst formed by living cells, but not depending on their presence for their action. Concise Oxford Dictionary Introduction Processes within cells sometimes produce substances that would be harmful to the cell. To combat this, the cells require a method of disposing of this waste and this method involves enzymes. How do enzymes work? SUBSTRATE ENZYME Inside the cell, enzymes and substrates move around. Enzymes have been created by the cells, and substrates are the dangerous by-products of the reactions within the cells. When an enzyme and a substrate collide, they join together Once they are joined, the enzyme can begin working. It attempts to split the substrate into pieces, which are not harmful to the plant. As this diagram shows, the substrate is split up, but the enzyme is not changed. It can then go on to be used to catalyse other reactions. The experiment that I will be completing involves using hydrogen peroxide as the substrate and catalase as the enzyme. Catalase is found inside potato cells, and can be released by cutting the potato. The reaction that takes place is Hydrogen Peroxide � Potato Tissue(with catalase)� Oxygen + Water Many things can effect the reaction. ...read more.


If my prediction is correct, the graph should look like this: I think that there may be a direct relationship between the surface area and the oxygen produced - doubling the surface area will double the rate of reaction, therefore halving the time taken for the tube to fill. Results The results that I recorded were as follows: Table to show the time taken for 10ml of oxygen collect with different numbers of potato pieces Time take for 10ml of oxygen to collect (mins) No. of potato pieces Experiment 1 Experiment 2 Average 1 6.22 4.34 5.28 2 5.48 4.11 5.01 3 2.51 3.27 3.06 4 2.59 2.47 2.53 5 3.04 4.02 3.33 6 2.24 2.57 2.41 From these results I was able to create this graph However, this does not give a very useful display, as the data is graphed by number of pieces rather that the surface area. To give a more useful visual display of the results, I created the following graph: Although these results are not exactly correlating, there is a trend of negative correlation. This shows that the overall prediction was correct, and the larger surface area, the less time is taken for oxygen to be produced. However, some of the results were anomalous. ...read more.


oxygen being collected, and a human stopping the stopwatch * Different potatoes - different potatoes were used for experiment 1 and experiment 2. These will have been different in some way (type, age, temperature, time since harvest etc) * Different parts of potato - The pieces used were taken from throughout the potato. I do not know about potato anatomy, but there may be more catalase in the centre, or at the bottom of the potato * Inaccurate equipment - not all of the equipment was accurate, so other variables could have changed. To improve the experiment, further work would have to be done on controlling the variables stated above. However, as some of these are very difficult to control, I would like to repeat the tests more then twice. In an ideal situation, I would repeat the test over ten times to get an accurate result. However, realistically, there would not be time for a large number of repeats to take place. To improve the inaccurate readings, next time I will use data logging equipment so it will record accurately and reliably. Overall I feel that the experiment was a learning curve, but know I know how to conduct the experiment in an efficient way, I will be able to conduct the experiment without any anomalies. (hopefully) Anthony Swanborough Page 1 of 7 ...read more.

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