1. The velocity of decomposition of hydrogen peroxide by catalase as a function of (a) concentration of catalase, (b) concentration of hydrogen peroxide, (c) hydrogen ion concentration, (d) temperature has been studied in an attempt to correlate these variables as far as possible. It is concluded that the reaction involves primarily adsorption of hydrogen peroxide at the catalase surface.
2. The decomposition of hydrogen peroxide by catalase is regarded as involving two reactions, namely, the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide, which is a maximum at the optimum pH 6.8 to 7.0, and the "induced inactivation" of catalase by the "nascent" oxygen produced by the hydrogen peroxide and still adhering to the catalase surface. This differs from the more generally accepted view, namely that the induced inactivation is due to the H2O2 itself. On the basis of the above view, a new interpretation is given to the equation of Yamasaki and the connection between the equations of Yamasaki and of Northrop is pointed out. It is shown that the velocity of induced inactivation is a minimum at the pH which is optimal for the decomposition of hydrogen peroxide.
3. The critical increment of the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide by catalase is of the order 3000 calories. The critical increment of induced inactivation is low in dilute hydrogen peroxide solutions but increases to a value of 30,000 calories in concentrated solutions of peroxide.