Type: Process Essays
Sample donated: Tanya Burgess
Last updated: July 26, 2019
Catalysts are substances that speed up a chemical reaction without being consumed in the reaction, making it reusable. Enzymes are biological catalysts, and these molecules help to increase the rate of a given chemical reaction.
In a typical enzyme-catalyzed reaction, a specific molecule called the substrate binds to the enzyme in a spot specifically designed for the molecule called the active site. The enzyme then converts the substrate into product(s) and this is released. Because the enzyme is not consumed in the process, it can bind to another substrate and repeat the catalysis. However, changes to an enzyme’s active site will affect enzyme activity and its catalytic efficiency.
A common change is the denaturing of the proteins, where the shape and structure of the proteins are lost. The enzymatic efficiency can also be affected by the presence of inhibitors. Inhibitors either bind to the active site directly, stopping the substrate from entering the active site so that the chemical reaction is unable to proceed – these are known as competitive inhibitors.
Non-competitive inhibitors, on the other hand, bind to an allosteric site, a separate location on the enzyme which prevents substrate binding hence lowering the rate of reaction.Copper peroxide (CuSO4) is an example of a non-competitive inhibitor for the avocado catalase (1%), as there is no structural similarity to hydrogen peroxide. The inhibitor will bind to an allosteric site of the catalase, altering the enzyme’s shape, which stops hydrogen peroxide from binding with the catalase and this reduces the maximum rate of enzyme activity. Because this is an indirect inhibition, increasing the concentration of hydrogen peroxide (the substrate) will not have an effect on the overall rate of reaction.Source 2Catalase is an enzyme that catalyzes the reaction by which hydrogen peroxide is decomposed to form water and oxygen.
Found extensively in organisms that live in the presence of oxygen, catalase prevents the accumulation of and protects cellular organelles and tissues from damage by peroxide (antioxidant), which is continuously produced by numerous metabolic reactions. In mammals catalase is found predominantly in the liver.Catalase has various industrial applications. In the food industry, it is used in combination with other enzymes in the preservation of foodstuffs and in the manufacture of beverages and certain food items.
Commercial catalases also are used to break down hydrogen peroxide in wastewater.Source 3Copper sulfate is an inorganic compound that combines sulfur with copper. It can kill bacteria, algae, roots, plants, snails and fungi. Copper sulfate has been registered for use in pesticide products in the United States since 1956.Source 4Hydrogen peroxide is a mild antiseptic, oxidizer and bleaching agent.
As an antiseptic, it is used on the skin to prevent infection of minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. It may also be used as a mouth rinse to help remove mucus or to relieve minor mouth irritation. This product works by releasing oxygen when it is applied to the affected area.
The release of oxygen causes foaming which helps to remove dead skin and clean the area.