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Decomposition Of Hydrogen Peroxide

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The higher the temperature the faster the particles move. This is because of the kinetic energy, the more kinetic energy there is, the greater the chance is for a collision that results in a reaction. More energetic particles have a higher chance of “COLLIDING SUCCESSFULLY because they will collide more often thus increasing the number of successful collisions PER SECOND, thus increasing the rate of reaction”.


“As the concentration of a reactant/s increases, the rate of reaction increases”. This is due to the big amount of reactant particles, this also means that they are very close together, so the “frequency of collisions increases”. Thus, leading to an increased rate of reaction. Socratic. (2014, August 7)

The bigger the surface area of a reactant, the more the reaction rate occurs”. This is because of more particles being exposed, increasing the surface area available for collisions to take place. This also does ‘not’ affect the energy of the particle.


A catalyst is a special chemical that speeds up the rate of reaction but is not consumed by the reaction. This allows it to only use a small amount of energy to activate and comes out of the process unchanged. This means that more particles collide with enough energy to cause a collision; effectively increasing the collision rate. All catalysts will speed up the decomposition on H2O2. The most effective, based on the background research, will be the potassium iodine.

A chemical bond forms when the valence electron of two or more atoms interact. Thus, electrons are either shared or transferred between the atoms, making them more stable. The making of chemical bonds releases energy because of the bond making the atoms more stable (2020). However, breaking chemical bonds require energy because separating them makes them less stable. Chemical reaction occurs due to bonds between atoms either forming or breaking. This meaning that two or more molecules have interacted and caused the molecules to change. However, in some cases molecules can repel each other, this is caused by two molecules of the same charge interacting (2020). Energy plays a significant role in chemical reactions as chemical energy is stored in the bonds of a chemical compound, like atoms and molecules. Energy can be added or released from a molecule by the rearrangement of electrons. The releasing of a chemical energy can also cause the substance to turn into a completely new substance. If a chemical reaction released energy, either light would be seen, or the beaker would start to heat up (2020). The amount of heat released can range from slight warming of the beaker to an explosion.

Energy comes in many forms and is the ability to do work or cause change. The usage of energy is the process of transferring energy from one thing/place to another. There are two different forms of energy -kinetic energy and potential energy. Kinetic energy is associated with motion. As such all moving objects have kinetic energy however, the amount in each object differs (‘Kinetic particle theory – Kinetic particle theory and state changes – GCSE Physics (Single Science) Revision – Other – BBC Bitesize’, 2020). The amount of kinetic energy in an object is determined by the mass and its speed. The heavier and faster the object the more kinetic energy it has. On the other hand, potential energy is ‘stored energy’. “It is an energy that remains available until we choose to use it. There are a lot of different ways in which energy can be stored which makes it difficult to recognise potential energy”. An object has potential energy because of its position relative to another object. Another way for energy to be transferred is through heat or work. Heat is the term given to energy that is transferred from a hot object to a cooler object, however, it will stop when it has reached an equilibrium. Work, however, is energy transferred as a result of a force applied over a distance.

Some laws apply to energy, the law of thermodynamics being one. The first law is that energy cannot be created nor destroyed, but it can be transferred or transformed. The second law states that energy transfers and transformations increase the entropy of the universe. Entropy is the functions that describe the level of disorder in a thermodynamic system (‘Enthalpy and Entropy | A-Level Chemistry Revision Notes’, 2020).

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There are two types of energy changes in a chemical reaction. One of them is called exothermic reaction and the other is Endothermic reaction. Endothermic is heat energy absorbed from the surroundings. The energy level in the product is higher than the energy level in the reactants. Endothermic is the releasing of heat energy into the surroundings (2020). Consequently, the energy level of the product is lower than the energy level of the reactants. The result of an exothermic reaction is having products with more stable bonds (lower energy), whilst endothermic reaction results in the product with a light energy (less stable) (‘Home’, 2020).


The experiment, elephant’s toothpaste relates to the concentration of the reactants because the hydrogen peroxide is being diluted every time. The different concentrations in the solution has led to great findings and ideas for future investigations. A major finding was that the 3% solution, which contained 10ml of water, lasted for 3min and 35 seconds. The experiment consisted of decomposing Hydrogen Peroxide, Potassium Iodine and the water acted as a catalyst.

This experiment allowed the hypothesis to support it. The 3% solution was a diluted form, meaning that there were less hydrogen peroxide particles. Due to the little number of particles, the reaction was much slower. This had resulted in the long reaction rate. This was due to there being an insufficient number of hydrogen molecules (unstable) to decompose (‘Home’, 2020). Due to the small opening in the test tube oxygen is slowly being released into the surroundings, which can also cause the slow decomposition. Another reason can be the temperature, as the temperature in the testing room was neutral, of this was not the case then the temperature would have acted as a trigger for thermal decomposition (‘Chemical reactions | Chemistry of life | Biology (article) | Khan Academy’, 2020).

[bookmark: _Toc35179340][bookmark: _Toc35192628][bookmark: _Toc35258550][bookmark: _Toc35466003]Through the process a problem has been encountered, measurement of the solutions. When conducting the 12%-3% the amount of mixture within the tubes were different from one another. This has caused the results to be skewed, which had called for a redo of the entire produce. The second take of trial 1 and 2 has allowed the result to be more accurate and credible as a result of all the solutions being of the same amount. An improvement that would have been useful in this experiment would have been to record the temperature. This could have explained the reason for the chemicals to react in a certain manner. Further investigations can include comparing the reaction of the elephant’s toothpaste to another experiment similar to it. Or adding the detergent in and seeing if this can affect the reaction rate.

It has been stated that the use of inorganic catalyst such as manganese oxide or lead can cause the decomposition of the hydrogen peroxide to happen faster. However, would the concentration of the hydrogen peroxide affect the reaction rate? Other ideas could include using different temperatures of water as temperature affects the reaction rate. The experiment could also be tested in the sun, as exposure to the light would have decomposed it quicker (Socratic. (2014, August 7). However, the question is if whether having both the warm water and sun acting as catalyst with only 3% hydrogen peroxide can cause an entirely different reaction. This may cause a different reaction due energy that is either absorbed or released.

Energy is related to the experiment ‘Elephants toothpaste’ since the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide releases energy in the form of heat. As heat is released into the surrounding areas the breaker/tube the experiment was conducted in would start to heat up (reaction?,2020). Thus, causing an exothermic reaction (Foundation, 2020). The conduction of the experiment, elephant’s toothpaste has shown how the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide work. It has also allowed numerous questions to be asked, which could be possible ideas for future endeavours.


Overall, the elephant’s toothpaste experiment has allowed the hypothesis supports it. The results clearly show which concentration has the longest reaction rate. Many things that makes this possible is the less amount of hydrogen peroxide particles and the high amount of oxygen left. these variables have caused bubbly and heat as energy is transferred from the solution to the glass. Though there was an error which skewed the results, correct measures were taken to make the results once again credible. The task of designing and carrying out an experiment that related to the concentration of the reactants has been completed successfully.


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  17. Home. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2020, from

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Decomposition Of Hydrogen Peroxide. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 5, 2022, from
“Decomposition Of Hydrogen Peroxide.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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Decomposition Of Hydrogen Peroxide [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2022 Dec 5]. Available from:
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