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I am going to investigate how different concentrations of sucrose will affect the mass of a potato chunk.

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Introduction

Lacy Beare 10.15 The effect of different sucrose concentrations on potato cells Aim I am going to investigate how different concentrations of sucrose will affect the mass of a potato chunk. Method After setting up the equipment shown below, I will use the cork borer and the knife to cut up the number of potato chunks needed and measure them to 3cm long, I will then measure out 30ml of each concentrated sucrose using a measuring cylinder and pour them into the 6 test tubes, I will also be using air as a control .I will record the time, and place the potato chunks into the labelled test tubes, so I know what level of sucrose is in it and place a bung in each one. I will then wait 25mins and remove each potato from the test tubes and lay them on labelled paper towels while I am weighing them. I will record the results, clean the test tubes thoroughly and repeat the experiment another two times until I have a presentable number of results. Equipment 7 test tubes Potato Stop clock Weighing machine Sugar solutions- Distilled water-0.0 molar, 0.2 Molar, 0.4 Molar, 0.6 Molar, 0.8 Molar, 1.0 Molar Sieve Tile plate Knife Cork borer Test tube stand Ruler 7 bungs Paper towels Measuring cylinder Diagram Prediction Based on the osmotic theory described, I predict that the greater the concentration of sucrose the more the reduction mass of the potato chunk, and if I double the concentration the potato will halve in mass. ...read more.

Middle

When plant cells are placed in concentrated sugar solutions they lose water by osmosis and they become weak and thin, because the sugar is more concentrated outside the plant than in the plant itself. The insides of the potato cells shrink and pull away from the cell wall; this means they may float as the potato is less dense than the solution around it. When plant cells are placed in a solution, which has exactly the same osmotic strength as the cells they are in a state between swollen and hard and weak and thin so they don't gain or lose weight. Diagram Relevant information from trials From my trials I completed in a previous lesson I chose the best amount of solution I should use is 30mls this means it totally covers the potato and isn't enough so it fills up the test tube, I also thought the best time to leave the potato in the solution was 25mins as there was a change in mass which could be clearly seen. Precision and skill In my table I found that there were a few anomalous results, so I first drew a graph that represented the results including the anomalous ones and then a graph without them. To make the average of my results accurate I repeated them 3 times and then found the average. The anomalous results are highlighted in the table. ...read more.

Conclusion

I would make sure that next time if at all possible to do all the "result collecting" on the same day so all of the same equipment could be used, because when I did the experiment this time it was done over a couple of days and I couldn't make sure if I was using all of the same equipment. Also might have been unable to completely sterilise the test tubes after it had been in contact with the sucrose solution, this may have made my results unreliable. All these could have contributed to the couple of anomalies I collected. Further work If I was to extend this piece of coursework I could increase the surface area of the potato and cut it up into discs of potato as this might increase or decrease the mass quicker than it would in a chunk, I could then compare the reactions rates of the two experiments. Increasing the surface area the more chance there is of more frequent, successful collisions of particles so the rate of reaction would be faster. Diagram More surface area Less surface area I could also find out the concentration in a potato (cell sap), by using more specific concentrations of sucrose to get the exact level in a potato, because the potato will not increase or decrease when the level of the solution is exactly the same as the level of the potato, in my experiment one of the experiments didn't change but this was because I didn't leave the potato in the solution long enough. ...read more.

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