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To determine the relationship between surface area and rate of oxygen production when a potato is placed in hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) solution.

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Investigation To determine the relationship between surface area and rate of oxygen production when a potato is placed in hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) solution. Background Information Potato contains enzymes such as catalase. Catalase are protein molecules, which are found in animal and plant cells. Catalase speeds up specific reactions in the cells. They all have very specific duty, as each enzyme just performs one particular reaction. It is able to speed up the decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide because the shape of its active site matches the shape of the Hydrogen Peroxide molecule. This type of reaction where a molecule is broken down into smaller pieces is called an anabolic reaction. Variables In my investigation I will have two types of variables:- a) Independent variables are variables that I can change. The independent variable for my investigation is: Surface area - the more surface area the more chance of collisions and therefore a quicker reaction. b) Dependent variable is the variable that is measured. In my investigation the dependent variable is: Volume of oxygen gas produced over a period of one minute Variables that I kept constant are: Temperature - the rate of reaction depends on the temperature as enzymes work best at certain temperatures. Concentration of Catalase (enzyme) - the more concentrated the quicker the reaction. ...read more.


I will then cut them into shapes with different surface are but the same volume. To be accurate I will cut the potato using a knife and a ruler. The dimensions of the potato I will be experimenting are (1 by 1 by 6), (1,1,3), (1,1,2), (1,1,1.5) and (1,1,1). Each of these shapes will be made by cutting the original potato size (1,1,6) into different sections. For example for the second dimension (1,1,3) I will cut the original potato size in half. Then I will put both the potatoes of dimension (1,1,3) into the chronicle flask. I will then measure 30cm3 of the hydrogen peroxide solution. Then I will pour the solution inside the chronicle flask and put the hydrogen peroxide in the test tube. Fill up the container with water and then fill the measuring cylinder up to the top with 20cm2 of water. Then I will join the delivery tube to the chronicle flask. Next I will put my hand over the top of the measuring cylinder and put it upside down in the container making sure that no air gets into the measuring cylinder. Then I will add the potato shapes to the 30cm3 of hydrogen peroxide. Then the reaction will start and I will put on the bung. ...read more.


There were some difficulties while I carried out this investigation which may have caused small anomles. It was very difficult to cut the potatoes into pieces, especially when it reached cutting the dimension 1 by 1 by 1. It was also hard to read the readings at exactly 1 minute because people have reaction time so this can delay the readings. Also when I was putting the potato chips into the chronicle flask, maybe two potato chips were sticking together, this would decreased the surface area which decreases the amount of oxygen produced. I need to keep the temperature constant throughout the whole experiment but it was difficult because this is an exothermic reaction, which means when its reacted, it gave out heat, so the temperature may have changed during the experiment. In order to improve my experiment, I can use an implement called thermostatically controlled water bath. This can keep the hydrogen peroxide in a constant temperature to make the experiment more fair and accurate. I can increase the size of the potato chip in order to help me to cut the chips into pieces more accurate and easier. Maybe I could increase the time to let the reaction react, so more oxygen will be produced, increasing the accuracy of the results. I could use a vernier calliper to measure the length of the chips instead of a ruler because this can provide measurements to 2 decimal places, therefore this would increase the accuracy of the results. ...read more.

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