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madman1611
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Need urgent advice

Post by madman1611 » Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:57 am

Hey, guys. Sorry if this is in the wrong forum. Anyways, for my summative assessment in school, I have to basically extend a lab we've already conducted in class. One of the labs we've done is the catalase (enzyme) lab and the factors affecting its rate of activity. Basically, catalase is a biocatalasyt (a biological enzyme) that speeds up the break decomposition of H2O2 hydrogen peroxide- a harmful by-product of metabolic processes within our cells. Similarly, Manganese (IV) dioxide also has the ability to decompose hydrogen peroxide (I realized this from researching), however, that is a simply an industrial catalyst, not a protein, or biocatalyst like catalase. Therefore, my idea was to basically test the effectiveness of an industrial catalyst vs. an biocatalyst on the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide under timed conditions. Is this a good extension? I mean, is it intellective?

PS. I know catalase is one of the most effective catalysts. It can decompose somewhere around 100,000 molecules in a second or something (sorry, don't know if this is correct- can't recall it). But, I'm really having a hard time coming up with any ways to extend other labs we've done in class. If you guys can, please, advice. An another major lab I've done is the ethanol fermentation lab.

Possible flaw within this lab (I beleive) that I could use clarification upon.

1. Would it be possible to get equivalent amounts of catalase enzyme and the manganese dioxide simply on the basis of weighing the two substances? I’m concerned about this assumption since the two are in different forms of matter, wouldn’t there be a higher concentration of one over the other (specifically the catalase since it is a liquid while the manganese dioxide is a solid).

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mith
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Post by mith » Sat Dec 15, 2007 8:16 am

You should have their amounts in terms of moles of molecules.

Frankly it's not exactly that interesting, it's like testing diesel vs gasoline.

If you're comparing them, at least do something like under what conditions do these two catalysts perform better?
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madman1611
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Post by madman1611 » Sat Dec 15, 2007 9:55 am

Hmm.. that's a very nice idea. As I've said earlier, I've conducted an experiment on various factors (pH, temperature) that affect the rate of enzymatic activity. However, I'm completely oblivious as to if these would actually affect the manganese dioxide (I mean, I don't think, as in the case of an enzyme, an increase in temperature would disrupt the bonds of its teritiary structure and ultimately change the active site rendering the enzyme functionless would also apply to manganese dioxide). Also, I'm not completely sure of the exact properties of manganese dioxide that actually lead to the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. hmm.. i'm starting to have concerns about this lab.

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mith
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Post by mith » Sat Dec 15, 2007 5:21 pm

You could try the alcoholic fermentation lab with different types of carbon sources

sucrose, glucose, fructose, honey(glucose+fructose), xylitol(sugar alcohol found in sugarfree gum), starch, gatorade(idea inspired by Idiocracy movie)...
Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
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Post by madman1611 » Sun Dec 16, 2007 8:02 am

hmm.. but what would be a possible hypothesis? I mean definitely the lab is a possibility, but what sorts of things can I try to prove with this lab?

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