My teacher assigned me a science experience involving catalysts and inhibitors at home.

I think I understand the principle of it, but I fail to find possible experiments that I can do at home with a thermostat and some home substances.

The experience:

3 reactions... 1 with the catalyst, 1 with the inhibitor, 1 without anything.

I will compare them by measuring the reaction speed with a factor (preferably the heat variation).

EDIT: I can also measure the volume of the product.

Thank you.


1 Answer 1


You might look up the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, $\ce{H2O2}$. The 3% solution sold as antiseptic should be safe to use at home, as would be some readily available catalysts and inhibitors.

Horseradish might be used for a catalyst... but don't eat it in the lab.

To measure speed of reaction, measure gas evolution with an inverted, liquid-filled graduated cylinder or small measuring cup over time.

You can have fun burning things (carefully) in the evolved $\ce{O2}$, too.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, I am not really good in chemistry, but what I understand is that I need mix the solution with some horseradish powder so that the decomposition of H2O2 happens faster? In this experience, what will the inhibitor be? I don't think I will burn something in the O2; I will breath it :-) $\endgroup$
    – stryz_
    Commented Mar 4, 2021 at 19:29
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, fresh horseradish probably has more peroxidase than powdered. But there are many other catalysts you can use. Use the 'net, young master... there is a plethora of info on peroxide catalysts and inhibitors. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 4, 2021 at 23:11

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