Catalase is an enzyme that is commonly found in plant and animal tissues. The function of the enzyme catalase is to break down the chemical hydrogen peroxide inside living cells. Because it is toxic, or poisonous, hydrogen peroxide would soon kill the cell if it were not removed or broken down immediately. Manganese dioxide is an inorganic catalyst. Catalysts are similar to enzymes in that they speed up chemical reactions, but they are not specific for just one reaction.
In this lab, students will observe the function of enzymes and will learn many facts about enzymes. They will observe the role of catalase inside living cells and will compare the enzyme catalase to the catalyst manganese dioxide.
Materials needed: Fresh plant and animal tissue, Test tubes and racks, Boiled animal tissues, Manganese dioxide, 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, Sand, Mortar and pestle
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