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Investigating Osmosis in Potato Pieces in Order to Estimate the Concentration in Potato Cells.

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Introduction

Investigating Osmosis in Potato Pieces in Order to Estimate the Concentration in Potato Cells. In this experiment, I aim to measure the concentration of water in potato cells. Osmosis is an important process in plants, as it is how they get their water from the soil surrounding their roots. The water moves from where there is proportionally more of it (the soil) to where there is less of it, the plant. Osmosis is also important in the movement of water around the plant, from vacuole to vacuole. The water moves from the cell with a lower concentrated solution to one with a higher concentrated solution. This results in the movement of water throughout the whole plant. Method 1. Using a potato borer, take 5 cylinders of potato. 2. Using a scalpel, take the peel of all 5 pieces. 3. Make sure that all pieces of potato are 40mm in length. 4. Weigh each of the pieces using a top-pan balance. 5. Make 5 salt solutions, of concentrations 0M, 0.125M, 0.25M, 0.5M and 1M. Do this by mixing appropriate quantities of distilled water and 1M salt solution. ...read more.

Middle

This is why it is necessary to maintain the same aged potato for each experiment. 6. Type of potato - some breeds may osmose faster or slower than others as they may have different concentrations. Apparatus * 1 Potato * Potato Borer * Scalpel * 5 Test Tubes * Distilled Water * 1M Salt Solution * Measuring Cylinders * Top-Pan Balance * Ruler * Stopwatch * Calculator Prediction I predict that the stronger solutions will be hypertonic, the water will diffuse out of the cell, as the solution in the cell will be stronger than that outside the cell. This will cause the cell to become flaccid (see above), and will, consequently, lose mass. I predict that the weaker solutions will be hypotonic, the water will diffuse into the cell, as the solution in the cell will be weaker than that outside the cell. This will cause the cell to become turgid (see above), and will, consequently, gain mass. The concentration where the mass of the potato doesn't change has the same concentration as the potato cells, as equal amounts of osmosis are happening in and out of the cells. ...read more.

Conclusion

We could have dipped the pieces in water quickly before we weighed them for the first time. There are further ways we could have improved our experiment: We could have left the potato chips in the solutions for a greater amount of time allowing for more osmosis, and thus, greater differences in mass, to occur. We could have measured more concentrations between 0M and 0.5M, this would have given us greater precision in finding the point of dynamic equilibrium. Making potato chips with a greater surface area would allow more osmosis to occur and would give more obvious results. Further results Although we can draw a conclusion from our experiments there is a lot more investigation that could be done into the osmosis theory. * Investigation into the link between surface area and size change due to osmosis. An experiment could be set up where pieces of potato, all with different surface areas, are put into a 1M salt solution and the change in mass is recorded. * Investigation into different types of potato. Does osmosis affect different strains of potato differently? Does the age make a diiference? * Investigate more closely the area of concentration around where the graph crosses the x axis. This would give a more accurate picture of what the solute concentration equivalent is to potato sap. ...read more.

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