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Investigation into Effect of Surface area on Catalase activity in potato.

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Investigation into Effect of Surface area on Catalase activity in potato. Aim: In this investigation, my aim is to find out how the factor Surface area effects Catalase activity in a potato. Introduction Enzymes are globular shaped proteins. They act as catalysts as they help speed up reactions and remain unchanged themselves. Enzymes are composed of amino acids, arranged in chains, which are the n moulded into 3-dimensional shapes. The molecules which the enzymes breakdown, are often referred to as substrates. The shape of the substrate is complimentary to the enzyme's active site. The enzyme has a very specific 3D shape into which only one specificly shaped substrate can fit into it. After the substrate has taken its place in the active site, it is broken down by the enzyme into a product or products. Now, the product(s) have to leave the site as they do not have the complimentary shape anymore. Cells have an enzyme called catalase to breakdown hydrogen peroxide, which can kill the cells, into two safe products. 2H2O2 2H2O + O2 This type of reaction where a molecule is broken down into two smaller products, is called a catabolic reaction. In order to investigate the effect of surface area on the activity of catalase, I am going to measure the volume of oxygen gas released in order to determine the rates of reaction. ...read more.


* Glassware: All glassware must be handled with care. It is easy break, which can obviously cut you. Apparatus such as boiling tubes should be handled with extreme care especially when the contain contents such water. * Hydrogen Peroxide: Hydrogen Peroxide is an oxidising agent. This means that oxygen gas is given off. This can be dangerous in the way that oxygen can assist any burning fires that may start. * Safety goggles: it is necessary to wear safety goggles during the experiment, as Hydrogen peroxide can cause major eye damage if it were to get into your eyes. * Cork borer : the cork borer has a potential hazard itself. While in use, the potato being cut should be held down by your other hand. If not, the borer can slip and cut you. Method In order to complete to this investigation, the following method needs to be followed: * First of all, I will set my apparatus up in a suitable manner * Using the formula 2?rh +[2?r x 2?r], I will work out the surface areas of the cylinders being tested in this investigation: o 1cm in length, 1cm in diameter = 4.71 cm3 o 2cm in length, 1cm in diameter = 7.85 cm3 o 3cm in length, 1cm in diameter = 10.99 cm3 o 4 cm in length, 1cm in diameter = 14.14 cm3 o 5cm in length, 1cm in diameter = 17.27 cm3 * place the ...read more.


In the same way, at a high pH, there would too little H+ ions and this will again disrupt the shape and hence denature the enzyme. The optimum pH for this reaction is 7. > Concentration of catalase: the higher the concentration of catalase, the higher the rate of reaction as more catalase molecules are exposed to the hydrogen peroxide. The larger the number of catalase molecules, the higher the chance of collision between the active sites and substrates. Therefore, the concentration of catalase will be kept the same throughout the experiments as the higher concentrations give a higher rate of reaction. > Concentration of substrate: the higher the concentration of substrate, the higher the rate of reaction. Reason being that with a larger number of substrate molecules, the chance and frequency of the collisions between the reacting particles is increased. I found that 30cm3 of 0.1 hydrogen peroxide provided the most manageable amount of oxygen produced Precision & Reliability To ensure the experiment is precise and provides reliable results: * Repeat the whole experiment 3 times in order to obtain more accurate results. * Use a gas syringe to be enable accurate measuring of oxygen. A gas syringe is used instead of a manometer, which is where O2 bubbles are counted. * If a manometer is used, it could be inaccurate as some of the bubbles may be missed and not counted. They could be miscounted. * The potato cylinders need to be cut precisely, it is necessary for their edges to be cut straight using the cork borer. ...read more.

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