Enzymesare biological catalysts, they can speed up the reaction time of somethingwithout the reaction consuming them. Most enzymes are proteins, which means theycan speed up reactions by lowering the activation energy that the reactionneeds to begin. Activation energy is the minimum amount of energy needed tocause a reaction. When an enzyme is involved in a reaction, it helps thereactant get past the activation energy barrier much easier because the enzymehelps reduce it. In the lab that wasperformed in class, students were using potato cells that were acting ascatalysts(enzymes) to speed up the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide(substrate)into water and oxygen gas. To test the concentration of the enzymecatalase, there were crushed potatoes placed into test tube one, and cubedpotatoes placed into test tube two.
Hydrogen peroxide(substrate) was added toboth test tubes to form a reaction. The reaction rate of test tube one wastwo(moderate) and the reaction rate of test tube two was one(slow). The reactionrate for test tube one was higher because since the potato was ground there wasan increased concentration of the enzyme catalase, compared to test tube two. To continue, to test whether roomtemperature or boiling temperature sped up the enzyme catalase, grounded potatowas added into test tubes one and two. Test tube two was added into a hot waterbath for five minutes, then taken out of the water bath and rested for anadditional five minutes.
After five minutes two milliliters of hydrogen peroxidewas added to both test tubes. Test tube one (room temperature) had a reactionrate of two(moderate) and test tube two had a reaction rate of zero (noreaction). The reaction rate for test tube two was lower than test tube onebecause the temperature of the boiling potato destroyed the enzymes, whichmeans no reaction will take place.To test the pH levels, pieces ofgrounded potatoes were added to test tubes one, two, and three. Two millilitersof water were added to test tube one with an additional two milliliters ofhydrogen peroxide. Two milliliters of acetic acid were added to test tube twoalong with two milliliters of hydrogen peroxide.
Two milliliters of sodiumhydroxide were added to test tube three, along with two milliliters of hydrogenperoxide. Test tube one had a reaction rate of three (fast reaction) along witha pH level of eight. Test tube two had a reaction rate of one (slow reaction)along with a pH level of three. And test tube three had a reaction rate of one(slow reaction) along with a pH level of thirteen.
According to these resultsenzymes function more efficiently at neutral pH levels. In conclusion, according to the labresults the grounded potatoes had higher reaction rates. The catalase’sfunctioned more effectively at room temperature since the boiled potato’s catalaseswere basically degraded. And if the temperature were lower than roomtemperature the reaction would have been slower. Finally, the catalase’s hadthe highest reaction rates with a neutral pH level. Which means if the pHlevels are to basic or acidic than the reaction rate will be slower.