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Project Report on pH - Acidity and Basicity of Enzymes

  • pH measures the Acidity and Basicity of a solution. It is a measure of the Hydrogen Ion (H+) concentration, and therefore a good indicator of the Hydroxide Ion (OH-) concentration. It ranges from pH1 to pH14. Lower pH values mean higher H+ concentrations and lower OH- concentrations.

  • Acid solutions have pH values below 7, and Basic solutions (alkalis are bases) have pH values above 7. De-ionised water is pH7, which is termed 'neutral'.

  • H+ and OH- Ions are charged and therefore interfere with Hydrogen and Ionic bonds that hold together an enzyme, since they will be attracted or repelled by the charges created by the bonds. This interference causes a change in shape of the enzyme, and importantly, its Active Site.

  • Different enzymes have different Optimum pH values. This is the pH value at which the bonds within them are influenced by H+ and OH- Ions in such a way that the shape of their Active Site is the most Complementary to the shape of their Substrate. At the Optimum pH, the rate of reaction is at an optimum.

  • Any change in pH above or below the Optimum will quickly cause a decrease in the rate of reaction, since more of the enzyme molecules will have Active Sites whose shapes are not (or at least are less) Complementary to the shape of their Substrate.

  • Small changes in pH above or below the Optimum do not cause a permanent change to the enzyme, since the bonds can be reformed. However, extreme changes in pH can cause enzymes to Denature and permanently lose their function.

  • Enzymes in different locations have different Optimum pH values since their environmental conditions may be different. For example, the enzyme Pepsin functions best at around pH2 and is found in the stomach, which contains Hydrochloric Acid (pH2).


  • Changing the Enzyme and Substrate concentrations affect the rate of reaction of an enzyme-catalyzed reaction. Controlling these factors in a cell is one way that an organism regulates its enzyme activity and so its Metabolism.

  • Changing the concentration of a substance only affects the rate of reaction if it is the limiting factor: that is, it the factor that is stopping a reaction from preceding at a higher rate.

  • If it is the limiting factor, increasing concentration will increase the rate of reaction up to a point, after which any increase will not affect the rate of reaction. This is because it will no longer be the limiting factor and another factor will be limiting the maximum rate of reaction.

  • As a reaction proceeds, the rate of reaction will decrease, since the Substrate will get used up. The highest rate of reaction, known as the Initial Reaction Rate is the maximum reaction rate for an enzyme in an experimental situation.

Substrate Concentration

  • Increasing Substrate Concentration increases the rate of reaction. This is because more substrate molecules will be colliding with enzyme molecules, so more product will be formed.

  • However, after a certain concentration, any increase will have no effect on the rate of reaction, since Substrate Concentration will no longer be the limiting factor. The enzymes will effectively become saturated, and will be working at their maximum possible rate.

Enzyme Concentration

  • Increasing Enzyme Concentration will increase the rate of reaction, as more enzymes will be colliding with substrate molecules.

  • However, this too will only have an effect up to a certain concentration, where the Enzyme Concentration is no longer the limiting factor.

Project report Chemical Reactions of Enzymes

Project Report on pH - Acidity and Basicity of Enzymes






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