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The Breakdown off Hydrogen peroxide Using Catalase

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The Breakdown off Hydrogen peroxide Using Catalase Introduction Enzymes such as Catalase are protein molecules, which are found in living cells. They are used to speed up specific reaction within the cell. They are all very specific as each enzyme just performs one particular reaction. Catalase is an enzyme found in food such as potato and liver. It is used for removing Hydrogen Peroxide from cells. Hydrogen Peroxide is the poisonous by-product of metabolism; this compound can kill cells. Catalase speeds up the decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide into water and oxygen because the shape of its active site matches the shape of hydrogen peroxide molecule. This type of reaction where a molecule is broken down into smaller pieces is called a catabolic reaction. This is the reaction equation for the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. Catalase 2H2O2 2H2O + O2 Aims The aim of this experiment is examine the effect of catalase on the breakdown of the substrate hydrogen peroxide. The catalase that I use will be obtained from a fresh potato. In this experiment I will investigate two main factors, which are; changing the surface area of the potato and changing the substrates concentration (hydrogen peroxide). In order to investigate the effect of surface area on the activity of catalase, I will measure the evolution of oxygen under the time of 5 minutes. From this I will be able to determine the rate of reaction. ...read more.


Using the cork borer, take a sample of potato, cut this piece in cm intervals using the scalpel and plastic rule. Then cut these a further 2 sections, so there is now 5 sections per 1cm piece of potato. Using distilled water; allow the potato discs to stick to the side of the glass Thistle Funnel. 2. Fill a beaker with about 4cm of the pre-made measured solution of Hydrogen Peroxide and using the graduated measuring cylinder, completely fill the 10 cm3 cylinder with the same solution. 3. Immerse the thistle funnel into the beaker with the steam below the surface of the Hydrogen Peroxide over the funnel stem. 4. Measure the volume of oxygen evolved in a time of 5mins. 5. Repeat the procedure with the other Hydrogen Peroxide solutions. Be aware not to contaminate each solutions with one another, this will cause inaccurate results. 6. Repeat all he tests at least three times (Time dependent) so that an average can be obtained. Repeating the experiments several times will help to produce better and more accurate results, as any inaccuracies in one experiment should be compensated for by the other experiments. Note all the results in a table such as the one below. 7. This gives the rate in cm3 of oxygen produced in the time of 5 minutes, this is because I am timing how much oxygen gas is given off in the space of 5 minutes for the various concentrations of Hydrogen Peroxide. ...read more.


I tried my best to keep all the variables apart from the one I was testing (Hydrogen Peroxide Concentration) the same. However and unfortunately in practice it is impossible with the basic apparatus I had to keep all measurements precisely the same. For example: 1. There is a slight delay between pouring the thistle funnel with the potato discs into the beaker of Hydrogen Peroxide. This will slightly affect all the results for each individual experiment but as I carried out all the steps in the same way, it should not make any negotiable difference to the overall result. 2. It is also impossible to precisely measure out the amounts of Hydrogen Peroxide and Distilled Water each time. As the scale on the measuring cylinder shows the measurement to the nearest 1mm3, the solutions that I used should be correct to the nearest mm3. Criticisms & Ways to Improve Experiment. As using Catalase founded in potatoes, the desired amount was hard to measure, however, measuring the amount of potato wasn't difficult although that piece could contain different amounts of catalase compared to another piece. The results that would show from both pieces would be negotiable. Maybe having a source of catalase from yeast would have been much easier to use and handle. Specific amounts could be measured much more precisely. ...read more.

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