posted by Grade 12 Biology .
Hey! I am doing a biology lab in which we take liver and sand and place it in a test tube, to see it if it will react with hydrogen peroxide. One of the test tubes just has sand in it, and no reaction occurs. This is because the sand acts as a control and is inorganic meaning it won't react with the enzymes in the liver. My question, what exactly does it mean that the sand is a control? Thanks
This is my answer: the control means that it controls enzyme activity (but I am not sure)
Also, how does one tell if a catalyst is inorganic or organic
The purpose of your experiment is to show that certain reactions are speeded up by using a catalyst (in this case H2O2). These catalysts only work when they act on certain materials.
That's why you are using sand to show that the hydrogen peroxide doesn't just react with anything it touches, it's material specific.
Catalysts use a so called key-lock mechanism. Molecules with a specific shape can fit on these catalysts and use the catalyst as a "base of operations" on which they can interact more easily with other molecules.
A control is just a material to show that a certain material only reacts with specific materials.
To answer your second question:
Organic materials contain Carbon(C) and mostly have a chainlike structure, so if your catalyst contains carbon, it is most likely an organic catalyst