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Investigation into the effect on the rate of reaction of the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide caused by changing enzyme concentration

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Investigation into the effect on the rate of reaction of the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide caused by changing enzyme concentration Introduction In this coursework I will be studying how the enzymes (catalase) affect the rate of reaction of the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. Catalase can be found in a variety of places such as potatoes, apples and the liver. This enzyme which is a biological catalyst that specifically breaks down the chemical hydrogen peroxide which is a by-product of metabolic processes. This enzyme breaks down that poisonous chemical into harmless substances which are water and oxygen. These are then used by the body and are a result of catabolic reactions. The equation for it is: The symbol equation for it is: Preliminary experiment Aims The purpose of this preliminary experiment is to find out which type of material is the best to measure the rate of reaction of the breakdown hydrogen peroxide by the enzyme catalase. In my main experiment I would be using the data I would be collecting from the preliminary experiment in order to come to a conclusion as to which material I find the most suitable for my main experiments. ...read more.


This is evident in simple things like chewing your food as this process breaks down the food into smaller pieces which will increase the surface area so the digestion of that food will be faster. In terms of this reaction, if I increase the surface area of the tissue containing catalase, it would result in the catalase enzymes being exposed to more of the hydrogen peroxide solution. For example a 5g sample of potato cut up into tiny pieces will have a greater combined surface area than a 5g chunk of potato. This would increase the rate of reaction. Also a bigger mass of the sample would result in more catalase that the tissue contains. Concentration Concentration will affect the rate of reaction as by increasing the concentration of catalase and the substrate molecules it will increase the amount of times that the enzyme collides with the hydrogen peroxide. Also if we take into account that when the two particles collide, it is not all the time that they will have enough energy to start a reaction as each of the molecules will have different energy levels. ...read more.


This is helpful because if left by itself, the hydrogen peroxide would take too long to breakdown and lead to the death of the organism. Lock and Key model The lock and key theory was 'first postulated in 1894 by Emil Fischer'. Essentially the substrates are the molecules which bind to the enzymes 'active site'. Only the specific shape can fit into the active site because it is very specific. This means a different shape cannot fit into the active site thus no reaction will take place. A molecule with the right shape would form an enzyme-substrate complex and a reaction would take place until the substrate is broken down into the products. Safety Due to sodium thiosulpate being an irritant, we made sure that it didn't come in contact with our skin it could potentially burn it. If this aqueous substance was to go on our skin we made sure that we were of reasonable distance to a water tap so the irritant could be rinsed of quickly before a reaction with our skin begins to occur. Also if it goes into our eyes I could really irritate and damage it so we made sure that goggles were worn. ...read more.

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