Hydrogen Peroxide Lab Report

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The aim of this investigation is to determine the effect of different catalysts on the rate of decomposition of hydrogen peroxide. This experiment will conclude with the most effective of 5 different catalysts, which will cover a range of homogenous and heterogeneous catalysts. The difference between the two is mainly that in a homogeneous reaction, the catalyst is in the same phase as the reactants while in a heterogeneous reaction, the catalyst is in a different phase from the reactants. In this investigation, homogeneous catalysts will refers to those in a liquid state, while heterogeneous will refer to those in a solid state. This investigation is significant to me as I am extremely interested in the scientific behaviour of catalysts, and…show more content…
This distinguishes transition metals as a group to that of the alkali metals and post-transition metals, which exist in stable oxidation states. Not only do these vacant d-orbitals allow for a variety of coordination sites for activation (Clark, Introduction), these variable oxidation states allow the metals to act as “electron banks” that lend electrons at the appropriate time, and store them at other times (Chung). This is especially significant for the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, as the decomposition is a disproportionation reaction (Spohrer), meaning hydrogen peroxide will be both reduced and oxidized. Therefore (as oxygen has an oxidation state of -1 before the reaction), during the decomposition the transition metal catalyst is likely to both ‘lend out’ or complex the 1e- electron required to reduce its oxidation state to -2 in H2O, but also ‘store’ the 1e- electron during the oxidation of oxygen in becoming O2 as a product. As it is unlikely, without the presence of a catalyst, for an oxidative species to encounter a reductive species, the d-shell outer electrons provided exclusively by the transition metals facilitates and therefore increases the rate of decomposition (Whitcombe). It is therefore the unique ability of transition metals to both complex and facilitate this disproportionation reaction, that leads me to hypothesize that the transition metals within both the heterogeneous and homogeneous catalysts will have a greater effect on the decomposition of hydrogen

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