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Find out the concentration of the cell contents of a potato

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Find out the concentration of the cell contents of a potato Introduction Osmosis is the diffusion of water from a lower concentration of solute to a higher concentration of solute through a partially permeable membrane. This lets smaller molecules such as water, pass through but does not allow bigger molecules through. The molecules continue to diffuse until they reach a balanced state, where no area has a higher or lower concentration than any other. In a high concentration of water the amount of sugar solution is low. This is called a weak/dilute solution. In a weak concentration of water the amount of sugar solution is high. This is called a strong/concentrated solution. When a semi-permeable membrane divides two solutions, the water will move from the area of high concentration to the area of low concentration, until both sides are equal. Aim To find out how much sugar concentration there is in a cell of a potato. This means I will put the potato cylinders in different solutions of different concentrations. There are also other factors involved, these are: * Temperature of water * Size of potato cylinder * Mass of potato cylinder * Volume of solution potato cylinder is in * Type ...read more.


This means that the potato in higher water concentrations will have a larger mass than in higher sugar concentrations. Apparatus * Potato * Sugar solutions x5- 0%, 1%, 2%, 3% and 4% * Tap water * Cork borer * Measuring cylinder * Tile * Beaker x5 * Knife * Ruler * Digital scales * Clingfilm Method 1. Bore a hole through an average sized potato. 2. Using a scalpel and ruler I cut the potato into 5 equal pieces measuring 2cm long. 3. Using a measuring cylinder, I measured out 100ml of water and put it into each of the beakers. 4. I then weighed the sugar content needed by using digital scales. This varied starting with 1g for 1% of sugar, then 2 grams for 2% of sugar etc. These weights were then recorded. 5. I put each potato cylinder into the different beakers containing the sugar solution. These were labeled so as to not get confused. 6.We covered the tops of the beakers with clingfilm so that oxygen would not interfere with the experiment. 7. After 48 hours, I drained out the solutions and placed all the potato cylinders in the order they were in the beakers, so not to confuse myself. ...read more.


The time used for the experiment was a good choice as it gave enough time for osmosis to occur. The amount of concentrations was about right, but if I were to repeat the experiment I would maybe use higher ranges. In my opinion the cutting of the potatoes was the hardest part as although I was only recording the mass for my results, it could have affected the surface area and therefore the general rate of osmosis. Through my findings I did not find any anomalies. The only possible incorrect things could have been that on removing the potatoes from the beakers, one could have been more dried more thoroughly than the others and so would have had excess water, this would add to the mass. If the experiment was repeated I would find another way to dry off the potatoes that would ensure they were dried the same way for the same amount of time. To extend this experiment I could by looking at the potato cylinders through a microscope, this would enable me to see the cells in greater detail and draw some more observational drawings. However I thought the experiment went very well, and I was pleased that the results backed up my initial prediction. Deanne Sandiford 11S ...read more.

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