Hydrogen peroxide (#H_2O_2#) naturally breaks down into #H_2O# and #O_2# over time. When manganese dioxide (#MnO_2#) is added, the rate of this reaction increases. Based on this information, what can be hypothesized?

1 Answer

Answer:

That #MnO_2# catalyzes the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide.

Explanation:

#H_2O_2 rarr H_2O + 1/2O_2#

This reaction has a measurable rate, and in the presence of #MnO_2#, this rate is faster. Since, by definition, a catalyst modifies reaction rate, the added oxide has acted as a catalyst, and provided an alternative reaction pathway.