Investigating How Surface Area Affects Rates Of Reaction

782 words - 3 pages

Investigating how surface area affects rates of reaction.

Background Info:

Enzymes are biological catalysts. They break down the chemical they are uniquely made for, such as proteins, fats and some harmful substances like Hydrogen Peroxide.

An enzyme basically works on a key and lock like system. The enzyme is unique to its self but many others may be close to the exact shape, but not quite. Therefore allowing substrates to fit into its activesite, which then breaks it gets broken down. As all enzymes are different some substrates will have to work harder to fit into the active site of another enzyme of a similar shape, as some will fit perfectly, they all have different shape activesites to deal with each of its designated chemicals.

The best conditions for enzymes to breakdown and live is around 37-40°c /body temperature; in a low pH level are if would work best.

If the conditions are not suitable then the enzyme will denature, which is when it changes shape, then the substrates wont fit easily. If the enzyme is to hot it will basically melt slightly and change, but if its too cold then it wont have enough energy to digest.

This will digest slowing as the substrates are not a good fit for

The active site.

Where as.

This fits perfectly so it will digest this fast and well.

When it's a perfect fit the two substrates join together and you get a product.

These processes have an equation.

Hydrogen Peroxide Hydrogen + Oxygen

2H2O2 2H2O+O2

How the surface area can affect reaction time.

This half potato only has one side being digested and because it's a small area it will take longer to get through and the amount on enzymes they could have working on it cant as there isn't enough space.

This potato has been chopped up into 9 small square pieces this has increased the surface area dramatically. So more enzymes can digest it as there is more space and as each piece is smaller, they have to do less work so its done faster.

Prediction:

My prediction for the experiment is that the smaller and more pieces you cut the potato into the faster the reaction will be, because more enzymes can work on it as the surface area is increased and they are smaller pieces so it should digest faster.

Equipment:

Cork border - To get a continuous even sized...

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