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Unformatted text preview: Catalytic Decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide Reminder Goggles must be worn at all times in the lab PRE-LAB DISCUSSION: Catalysts are substances that speed up the rate of chemical reactions. It is believed that most catalysts work by providing alternate reaction pathways with lower activation energy than the uncatalyzed reaction. It is possible to divide catalysts into two groups inorganic catalysts and organic (biological) catalysts. Biological catalysts are called enzymes. Most enzymes are protein molecules (though recent research indicates that nucleic acids have enzymatic capacities), and they specifically catalyze only one reaction. Many genetic diseases are caused either by the bodys inability to manufacture some enzyme, or a mistake in amino acid sequence of the enzyme that causes the enzyme that is produced to work slowly or not at all. Inorganic catalysts take a wide variety of forms. Metallic surfaces often serve as catalysts for gas phase reactions, such as the conversion of nitrogen oxides back to atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen gas, as...
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