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Catalase Lab


The reason I assigned this lab to you was so you could see what effect temperature has on the function of an enzyme. Specifically catalase, which is an enzyme present in the liver that enables the spontaneous and speedy breakdown of Hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. Hydrogen peroxide is toxic to our bodies. Hydrogen peroxide is produced as a by product of many cellular reactions. If the cells did not break down the hydrogen peroxide they would be poisoned and die.

General Procedure

To observing the production of oxygen gas at various temperatures when hydrogen peroxide is added to fresh chicken liver. Although chicken liver is made up of dead cells it is still possible to study the function of enzymes because the enzymes remain intact and active for several weeks as long as the liver is refrigerated. We were able to measure the height of the foam which is proportional to the gas produced as a by product of the reaction.


You should have a table showing the temperature in degrees Celsius and the height of the foam in centimeters. You can do a nice bar graph to further represent your data. The x axis would be temperatures and the y axis would by foam height.

In your conclusion you should summarize your results (data). A general rule of thumb is that a 10 C rise in temperature should result in a doubling of the reaction rate. The chemical reaction will speed up as the temperature is increased (molecules are colliding at a faster rate). If the temperature is raised further an optimum is reached; at this point the structure of the enzyme can be disrupted. This is when a protein/enzyme becomes DENATURED. In general catalase is denatured at temps between 40 and 50 C.

Our temps were: @25, 37, 0.0 and 100 What does your graph show?


Remember to restate your objective and summarize how you accomplished the task.
Summarize (interpret your graph/table) How did the temperature affect oxygen production?
What were possible sources of error? Did the same person measure foam height each time? Did you follow the same procedure each time you measured foam height?
State what you learned about enzymes and the effect that temperature has on them.... Use what you learned in class about proteins as well here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Lock and key fit!