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Investigating the Effects of Sugar Solution on Potato Cells.

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Investigating the Effects of Sugar Solution on Potato Cells Plan When water passes from a less concentrated sugar solution to a more concentrated sugar solution, this is called osmosis. The process is similar to diffusion. For example: The water inside the cell's vacuole has a lower concentration of sugar and a higher concentration of water than the outside of the cell in the beaker where the sugar concentration is high and the water concentration is low. These factors allow osmosis to occur from the inside of the cell to the outside in the beaker. Osmosis can be stopped by osmotic pressure (OP) being applied. Stronger sugar solutions require more osmotic pressure to prevent osmosis. Osmotic pressure is measured in kilo pascal's (Kpa). The letter M stands for Molar, which is the concentration of the solution. Here are two example diagrams of osmosis in and out of a cell: Weak Strong If we made a range of different sugar solutions with a different concentration of sugar and work out their Osmotic Pressure, we could use these solutions to find the Osmotic Pressure needed to prevent osmosis in potatoes. ...read more.


I will then: * Cut 10 equal sized pieces of potato, using the potato cutter and then weighing each piece and record the weights * Put each piece into a different test tube and leave them over night * Note the changes in the potato's mass, whether it increased or decreased * Repeat the experiment to find the average results. This will ensure more accurate results. I will keep the experiment a fair test by measuring the amounts of each solution and putting the potato pieces in and out of each solution simultaneously. Each potato piece is cut down to a similar weight using the cutting board and scalpel. I predict that the potato pieces which have been placed in the solution with the lower concentration of sugar, due to water moving out of the cell the mass of the potato will decrease. I also think that a piece of potato in the solution with a higher concentration of sugar, due to water moving into the cell, the mass will increase. ...read more.


Errors which may have happened during the experiment could have had an affect on my results. When we made the serial dilutions, we took 5ml from a previous dilution and added 5ml of distilled water to it. The 5ml of solution we removed might not have had equal amounts of water and solution in it. If this was the case, then the osmotic pressure would have been inaccurate due to an error in the serial dilutions. To improve the experiment, the experiment could have been repeated again. Having a third set of results can produce much more accurate averages and could be compared to the 2 tests before to show which test had the errors. However, only repeating the experiment once gave some fairly accurate results. To extend the experiment, I could take more readings and make more serial dilutions around the point 40kPa and 50kPa to find an accurate result of the osmotic pressure of a potato cell. Doing this could be successful as the osmotic pressure was found where the line of best fit crosses the x-axis and if readings were took above and below this point, a more precise osmotic pressure can be found. Lewis Ormerwood ...read more.

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