Reaction Rates and Catalysts in Ethanol Production (1 Activity)
Students will have the opportunity to investigate alternative catalysts for the degradation of hydrogen peroxide, which will be used as a model system for the breaking down of cellulose into sugar. After identifying other potential catalysts, students will develop their own research question about catalysts and conduct an additional experiment of their own design to investigate their question. This lesson involves a system similar to one used in the production of ethanol, and it also gives students the opportunity to conduct research in a manner similar to that of research scientists. The use of the scientific method and the presentation of research is emphasized. This module can be used later in the school year as a lead-in to equilibrium because it introduces the idea of reaction rates and activation energy. Parts of this module would also fit in with lessons on polymers or simply on qualitative/quantitative observations. The activities are: Introduction to reaction rates and catalysts Alternative catalysts for a model decomposition reaction Further investigation of catalysts and reaction rates
1. Energy is a physical quantity that follows precise natural laws.
Associated Grade Levels:
1.6 Chemical and nuclear reactions involve transfer and transformation of energy.