Monthly Archives: October 2015

Catalase/Hydrogen Peroxide Lab

Last week we had lab examining how the enzyme catalase affects the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. Catalase naturally occurs in animals to avoid a buildup of toxic hydrogen peroxide. We used beef liver as our source of the enzyme, which was ground and mixed with water to form out ‘catalase solution.’ We soaked paper dots in the solution before sticking them to the walls of our reaction chamber. After adding hydrogen peroxide, we submerged the entire chamber. 

   
 
We used a graduated cylinder to catch the oxygen bubbles produced by the resulting reaction. We repeated this entire process, using one, two, three and four dots. Each 30 seconds for 7 minutes, we measured the amount of oxygen produced. As we expected, we found that the more catalase we used, the faster the reaction occurred.

  
Multiple factors, such as temperature and pH, affect the behavior of enzymes. This experiment demonstrated that an enzyme’s concentration also plays a role in its effectiveness.