Names:                                                                         Block:                         

IB Enzyme Lab[1]

Many organisms can decompose hydrogen peroxide (H202) enzymatically. Enzymes are globular proteins, responsible for most of the chemical activities of living organisms. They act as catalysts, substances that speed up chemical reactions without being destroyed or altered during the process. Enzymes are extremely efficient and may be used over and over again. One enzyme may catalyze thousands of reactions every second. Both the temperature and the pH at which enzymes function are extremely important. Most organisms have prefered temperature range in which they survive, and their enzymes most likely function best within that temperature range. If the environment of the enzyme is too acidic or too basic, the enzyme may irreversibly denature, or unravel, until it no longer has the shape necessary for proper functioning.

H202 is toxic to most living organisms. Many organisms are capable of enzymatically destroying the H202 before it can do much damage. H202 can be converted to oxygen and water, as follows:

2 H202                  2 H20  + O2

Although this reaction occurs spontaneously, enzymes increase the rate considerably. At least two different enzymes are known to catalyze this reaction: catalase, found in animals and protists, and peroxidase, found in plants. A great deal can be learned about enzymes by studying the rates of enzyme-catalyzed reactions. The rate of a chemical reaction may be studied in a number of ways including:


In this experiment, you will measure the rate of enzyme activity under various conditions, such as different enzyme concentrations, pH values, and temperatures. It is possible to measure the pressure of the oxygen gas formed as H202is destroyed and a plot can be made to visualize the process.

At the start of the reaction, there is no product, and the pressure is the same as the atmospheric pressure. After a short amount of time, oxygen accumulates at a rather constant rate. The slope of the curve at this initial time is constant and is called the initial rate. As the peroxide is destroyed, less of it is available to react and the O2 is produced at lower rates. When no more peroxide is left, O2 is no longer produced.


In this experiment, you will:


Write a hypothesis for each of the following experimental conditions.



  1. Obtain and wear goggles

  1. Write hypotheses for each conditions: enzyme concentration, temperature, and pH.

  1. Connect the Gas Pressure Sensor to the computer interface. Prepare the computer for data collection by opening the file “06B Enzyme (Pressure)” from the Biology with Vernier folder of Logger Pro.

  1. Connect the plastic tubing to the valve on the Gas Pressure Sensor.

Part A: Testing the Effect of Enzyme Concentration

  1. Partially fill a beaker with Distilled water for use in step 5.

  1. Add 3 mL of water and 3 drops mL of 30-35% H2O2 to each test tube.

  1. Using a clean dropper pipette, add 1 drop of enzyme suspension to Test Tube 1. Note: Be sure not to let the enzyme fall against the side of the test tube.

  1. Stopper the test tube and gently swirl to thoroughly mix the contents. The reaction should begin. The next step should be completed as rapidly as possible.

  1. Connect the free-end of the plastic tubing to the connector in the rubber stopper.  Click Green “Go” Arrow to begin data collection. Data collection will end after 3 minutes.

  1. If the pressure exceeds 130 kPa, the pressure inside the tube will be too great and the rubber stopper is likely to pop off.

  1. When data collection has finished, disconnect the plastic tubing connector from the rubber stopper. Remove the rubber stopper from the test tube, discard the contents into the trash and rinse the test tube.

  1. Find the rate of enzyme activity:

  1. Find the rate of enzyme activity for the following:

Part B: Testing the Effect of Temperature

  1.  Add 3 mL of 3% H2O2 and 3 mL of water to each test tube.

  1. Measure the enzyme activity at 10 degrees Celsius:
  1. Place the test tube in a beaker containing ice and water until the temperature of the water/ice in the beaker reaches a temperature of 10 degrees; maintain this temperature for the duration of the 3 minute analysis and measure by using a Vernier Temperature Probe connected to a second computer.  Do not record the temperature of the contents within the test tube, this would be impossible once the stopper is added.
  2. Add 2 drops of the enzyme solution and a combination of ice or hot water to reach 20 degrees Celsius.  Repeat steps 7-11.

  1. Repeat steps 13 & 14 for the remaining temperature variations: “20” “30” “40”  and “50.”

Part C: Testing the Effect of pH

  1. Add 3 mL of 3% H2O2 and 3 mL of pH 3 buffer to each test tube.

  1. Repeat steps 7-11, 14 & 15 to find the rate of enzyme activity for pH 4, 7 (distilled water), 10 & 12.


Write below a hypothesis for each condition being tested

Data Collection & Processing:

Insert Data Tables & Graphs Here


Insert Evaluation Here


Turn in via Google Classroom.


Lab Standard: Analysis



Nearly Meets


Lab Standard: Evaluation



Nearly Meets


A full explanation of the lab standard rubric can be found here

[1] Adapted from Vernier Software Enzyme Action: Testing Catalase Activity Lab