A decomposition reaction occurs between catalase and hydrogen peroxide, where catalase speeds up the breakdown of hydrogen peroxide into oxygen and water. The general equation for the reaction is 2H2O2 -> 2H2O + O2.
Living organisms contain essential substances, known as enzymes, that increase the rate of reactions of essential biochemical processes. Catalase, commonly found in the blood, is an enzyme that decomposes the toxic compound hydrogen peroxide. Without catalytic action, the activation energy required to initiate the breakdown is 75 kj/mol. In the presence of catalase, the activation energy is reduced to 8 kj/mol. During the reaction, hydrogen peroxide simultaneously undergoes a reduction and oxidation process, where it is split into two products, water and oxygen.