Blood and hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is produced in many reactions of oxygen in the blood. Since it’s toxic, the body has developed a great antidote. This is called catalase and is contained in the blood. You can do a nice experiment with it.

Safety note: Hydrogen peroxide is explosive in high concentrations and when heated. Plus it’s corrosive.

Put about 50 milliliters of hydrogen peroxide in a beaker. Now add 100 ml of blood that you got from the butcher.

The mixture foams up vigorously. The whole thing soon looks like a delicious sundae. But you are not allowed to try it!

A substance that causes a reaction without being changed or consumed is a catalyst. This is a catalyst that works in biological material. We call such biological catalysts enzymes.

Crazy Russian Hacker demonstrates the reaction of hydrogen peroxide and blood

The gas that causes the foaming is oxygen. Try putting a smouldering wooden stick into the foam. If it lights up, you have confirmed the presence of oxygen.