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Investigate what happens to a potato chip's weight when placed in different concentrations of Sodium Chloride.

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Introduction

AIM:~ To investigate what happens to a potato chip's weight when placed in different concentrations of Sodium Chloride INTRODUCTION:~ Osmosis is defined as 'the movement of water molecules from an area of high water concentration to an area of low water concentration, across a semi-permeable membrane' (Collins, 1999). A semi-permeable membrane is a membrane that partially allows liquid to pass through. In the case of the experiment I am carrying out, the potato chips have small holes in their membranes, which only lets some water molecules flow in and out of the solution and potato chips depending on the concentration of both. In a high concentration of water the amount of solute (e.g. salt) is low. This would be called a weak or dilute solution. In a low concentration of water the amount of solute (e.g. salt) is high. This would be called a strong or concentrated solution. When two such solutions are divided by a semi-permeable membrane the water will move from the area of high concentration to the area of low concentration, until both sides are equal or have reached 'equilibrium'. Dilute Solution Concentrated Solution Plant cells always have a strong cell wall that surrounds them. When osmosis takes place, and they soak up water, they start to swell. However the cell wall stops them from bursting as it is made from cellulose, which is very strong. When plant cells are put into dilute solutions they become 'turgid', which means hard. ...read more.

Middle

Then a potato chip will be weighed then put into each beaker. The potato chips will stay in the different solutions for 2 hours, and then they will be taken out and weighed. I will repeat this 3 times to achieve accurate results. METHOD:~ 1. I set up 5 beakers and lined them side-by-side. 2. Using a measuring cylinder I poured 60ml of NaCl (1M solution) into the first beaker. 3. I used the same measuring cylinder to pour 30ml of NaCl from the first beaker into the second beaker. Into this beaker I poured 30ml of distilled water using the second measuring cylinder. The second beaker now contained 0.5M of NaCl. 4. I repeated method no.3 (beaker 3 would have 0.25M of NaCl and beaker 4 - 0.125) until all five beakers had solution in. As the last beaker (beaker 5), had 60ml of solution whereas the others had 30ml because they had another beaker to put the other 30ml into, I poured out 30ml using the first measuring cylinder and emptied it down the sink. This beaker now contained 0.625M of NaCl. 5. I used the labels to write down each molarity of the solutions in the beakers and stuck them on each beaker so that I knew which one had what strength solution in it. 6. I then took 5 potato chips and weighed each one using the electronic weighing scales. I recorded the results. 7. I placed each potato chip into a different concentration of salt. 8. ...read more.

Conclusion

The higher the concentration of the salt solution, the more the potato chip will lose its weight, width and length. EVALUATION:~ I found my results to be fairly accurate as they followed my prediction. I say fairly accurate, because while plotting the results onto my graph I came across an anomalous result, which I have circled on it. If I were to repeat the experiment again I would repeat the investigation more than three times. I thought that the range of concentrations that I used were sufficient, although if I repeated the experiment I would use more concentrations to enable me to obtain more diverse results, for example 0.10M, 0.15M and 0.20M. This would have given me a more accurate insight into the osmosis going on in the potato chips. When I removed the potato chips from the beakers and shook off the excess water I may not have taken enough water off of it before I weighed it. As the electronic scales are very accurate, they would have measured the excess water on many of the potato chips which would have added to their 'after' weight. If the experiment was repeated I could find another way to dry the potatoes that would ensure that all were dried in the same way for the same time, which would also not deduct the potato chip's own water inside it. Having said all of the above I think that the experiment was successful and I was very pleased with the comparison of my results with my initial prediction. ...read more.

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