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Investigation to see the effects of changing the surface area of potato tubes on the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide and the subsequent release of oxygen gas by the naturally occurring enzyme catalyse.

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Introduction

Enzyme Investigation Aim: To see the effects of changing the surface area of potato tubes on the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide and the subsequent release of oxygen gas by the naturally occurring enzyme catalyse. Equipment: Hydrogen peroxide 200ml beaker 50ml conical flask Delivery tube Clamp Potato Cork Borer size 4 Burette Prediction: I predict that the larger the surface area of the potato the more hydrogen peroxide will be exposed to the potatoes surface, therefore making the reaction take place faster, giving off more oxygen in the same amount of time. So when the surface are of the potato has doubled I believe the oxygen level would have doubled also. But the smaller the surface area, the less oxygen given off. Background Research: Enzymes are biological catalysts. They speed up the chemical reactions, which go on inside living things. Enzymes are extremely efficient at doing their job. Hydrogen peroxide is a very poisonous so it must be got rid of quickly. Under the influence of an enzyme called catalyse, the hydrogen peroxide is broken down into harmless water and oxygen. Catalyse acts very quickly: one more molecule of it can deal with six million molecules of hydrogen peroxide in one minute. ...read more.

Middle

Tip the burette upside down and place into the 200ml beaker of water. Then get the delivery tube and place it inside the burette through the water, this is so that you can view the amount of oxygen given off by the potato reaction. Then get a cork borer and a potato and press firmly on the potato so you cut into the potato, then remove the potato from the inside of the borer. Cut up the potato into however many segments you will need. Get a conical flask and fill it with 50ml of hydrogen peroxide. But the bung into the top of the conical flask and make sure the delivery tube is still inside of the burette. Then get a stop watch and as soon as you have placed the potato inside of the conical flask start timing for 5 minutes. Results: Experiment 1: Number of potato pieces Water Displaced (cm3) Surface area of potato (cm3) 1 5 14.1 2 5.7 15.7 3 5.6 17.3 4 5.7 18.9 5 4.7 20.4 Experiment 2: Number of potato pieces Water Displaced (cm3) Surface area of potato (cm3) ...read more.

Conclusion

I think the experiment went very well, apart from the anomalous results. These anomalous results I had to correct by repeating the experiment, I don't know why these results occurred, it could have been the fact that we used a new hydrogen peroxide solution, or just because the reaction didn't work as well. Next time to improve the results I get I will use the same potato and the same hydrogen peroxide solution. With this experiment I found out that when the potatoes where cut into segments the hydrogen peroxide could work faster on them because there is more surface area to get to. From the results I gained you can see this pattern. I feel that I got a suitable range of results, because I was able to find a pattern in the experiment. The method I used meant sure that the experiment I carried out was safe and covered all the aspects needed to complete the experiment reliably. I would have liked to find out other sources of reactants that could react with potato that gives off oxygen; this would have helped me to find out whether hydrogen peroxide is one of the main reactants that attacks the potato and gives off the most oxygen or whether it is the worst reactants. ...read more.

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