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An Investigation into the rate of osmosis in Potato Chips

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An Investigation into the rate of osmosis in Potato Chips Aim: To investigate the effect of osmosis, when potato chips are put into salt solutions of varying concentrations. Background Information: Osmosis: is the movement of particles from an area of higher water potential through a semi-permeable membrane. Semi-Permeable Membrane: is like a net. It only lets smaller particles go through and "filters" bigger particles. Plant cells have a strong cell wall surrounding them. When they take up water by osmosis they start to swell, but the cell wall prevents them from bursting. The cell wall is made of a very tough material known as cellulose. Plant cells become "turgid", when they are put in dilute solutions. Turgid means swollen or hard and is very important for plants because it makes 6the green parts of the plant "stand up" into the sunlight. Pressure rises inside the cell and eventually the pressure inside the cell is so high that no more water can enter the cell. This pressure works against osmosis. When plant cells are submerged in concentrated solution, they lose water by osmosis and become "flaccid". When plant cells lose more water than they take up the cells become flaccid and this causes the plant to wilt. ...read more.


> After the repeat experiment was finished, I took the average of the masses taken at the starting and the masses taken at the end. > The change in mass was calculated by subtracting the start average mass from the end average mass. > The percentage mass was calculated by: Change in Mass Average start Mass Equipment: > Beaker: > Water > Timer > Weighing Scale > Potatoes > Salt > Test Tubes > Cork Borer Results: Salt Concentration (%) Mass of experiment (g) Mass of repeat (g) Mass of experiment (g) Mass of repeat (g) 0 1 0.99 1.13 1.16 5 1 1.03 0.75 0.75 7 0.94 1.03 0.69 0.78 10 0.96 0.98 0.81 0.83 12 0.99 0.98 0.76 0.82 15 0.95 0.99 0.77 0.85 17 1 0.94 0.83 0.78 20 0.96 0.96 0.81 0.81 25 0.99 1.01 0.76 0.86 Salt Concentration (%) Average at end (g) Average at start (g) Average Difference (g) Average percentage change (%) 0 1.145 0.995 1.145 115.075 5 0.75 1.015 0.750 73.892 7 0.735 0.985 0.735 74.619 10 0.82 0.970 0.820 84.536 12 0.79 0.985 0.790 80.203 15 1.62 0.970 0.810 83.505 17 0.805 0.987 0.805 81.560 20 0.81 0.960 0.810 84.375 25 0.81 1.01 0.810 80.198 Conclusion: By comparing my actual graph to my predicted graph, you can tell that my experiment went drastically wrong. ...read more.


Each time I had finished weighing a potato chip, I would have enough time to wipe the weighing scales with a tissue. It would be good idea to use a different variety of vegetables in this experiment instead of only potatoes and also the solute in the experiment, could also be changed. For instance, you could use sugar instead of salt. Using different solutes and vegetables can also be able to answer the question, Do the size of the particles and the membranes affect the rate of osmosis? Machines have always been more efficient than humans and are faster and more accurate than humans in performing work. Machines can also have some use in this experiment. They can be used to cut the potato chips very accurately down to the nearest tenth of a millimetre. Even to make the solution they can be used. Heating the solution first would allow all the solute to get dissolved, and then letting the solution cool down would make sure that only the maximum amount of solute could be dissolved. In the interest to make the hole borering much easier, it would be good to use a much larger potato. Created by Antony Thambiah - 1 - Osmosis Coursework ...read more.

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