ANDREW LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ANDREW LAMBERT PHOTOGRAPHY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Catalysed decomposition. Adding manganese (IV) oxide (MnO2) to hydrogen peroxide in a beaker. The manganese oxide acts as a catalyst, lowering the energy required to initiate the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide at room temperature. This occurs as the manganese ion weakens the bonds in the molecules of hydrogen peroxide. As a catalyst, the manganese oxide is not used up, and is reformed during the reaction. The lowering of the energy to start the reaction leads to an increase in the reaction rate. The hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) breaks up to form water (H2O) and oxygen gas (O2). The reaction equation is: 2.H2O2 ----> 2.H2O + O2.
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