Unit 10.6.6: Catalysts
The students are shown the reaction between zinc and sulfuric acid both with and without a catalyst (copper ions).
The nature of catalysis may emerge from the discussion in which case their action may be described as due to either:
Both of these processes often involve electron transfer (redox) reactions, making transition metals and their compounds good candidates for catalysts.
The students are to plan an investigation into the catalytic breakdown of hydrogen peroxide by manganese(IV) oxide.
All the usual laboratory apparatus
Hydrogen peroxide concentration is measured in 'volumes'. This refers to the volume of oxygen that a given volume of hydrogen peroxide solution can produce. 100 vol H2O2 makes 100 times its own volume of oxygen:
2H2O2 2H2O + O2
Hydrogen peroxide will bleach the skin and irritate the eyes. Suitable safety precautions must be taken.