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Osmosis in Potato Cores

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GCSE Coursework - Osmosis in Potato Cores Aim To see how different concentrations of sucrose solutions affect the rate of osmosis in potato cores. Hypothesis Osmosis is the net movement of water molecules from a solution with a high concentration of water molecules across a partially permeable membrane to a solution with a low concentration of water molecules. This process can be seen in living cells. The cell membrane in cells is partially permeable, and the vacuole contains a sugar solution. If a cell is placed in distilled water which has a high water molecule concentration, the water will move across the partially permeable membrane of the cell from the sugar solution and into the potato and make it swell. The cell becomes turgid. If the cell is placed in a solution with a low water molecule concentration, the water will move across the partially permeable membrane from the potato and into the solution. The cell is plasmolysed. In this experiment, the tiny holes in the potato membrane will allow the water molecules to pass through in and out of the solution depending on the concentration of the sugar solution used. If the concentration of water molecules in the potato is less than the concentration of water molecules in the solution, such as in sucrose solutions of molarity 0.0M (distilled water) ...read more.


I must also stop contamination, so the measuring cylinder must be washed after filling every boiling tube, to stop the sugar solutions from becoming contaminated. Safety is an important aspect in every experiment, and I must take that into consideration when performing this one. I will be very careful that the solutions don't get into my body internally, especially via my hands, as we do not know the damage it could do. This will be prevented by washing hands after the experiment to avoid the sucrose solution getting into contact with my mouth or getting wiped into eyes. I will wear a science overall to protect my clothes and my body. The knife being used to alter the lengths of the potato cores is also incredibly sharp, and I must take extreme caution when using this equipment. Results Start 15 minutes 30 minutes Concentration of Solution B 1st repeat 2nd repeat 3rd repeat 1st repeat 2nd repeat 3rd repeat 1st repeat 2nd repeat 3rd repeat Distilled Water 4.40 3.88 4.23 4.50 4.11 4.39 4.63 4.18 4.47 0.2 4.45 4.32 4.15 4.53 4.36 4.25 4.54 4.39 4.31 0.4 4.37 4.31 3.93 4.35 4.31 3.90 4.32 4.30 3.90 0.6 4.07 4.13 4.09 3.92 3.97 3.93 3.87 3.91 3.87 0.8 4.20 4.00 4.08 3.80 3.81 3.76 3.85 3.74 3.76 1.0 4.20 4.09 4.15 3.98 3.93 3.91 3.84 3.76 3.76 ...read more.


The experiment was done on 2 different days, and the room temperature in the lab on those 2 days could have varied, and affected the rate of osmosis. Temperature is a key factor as the higher the temperature, the more kinetic energy the water molecules have, and they will then move and diffuse faster. I do not feel that an accurate conclusion may be drawn from my results in this experiment, as the 0.6M, 0.8M, and 1.0M sucrose solutions results are all against what is said about osmosis. Evaluation I am disappointed that my experiment did not go well. I worked hard in obtaining my results, and if I have the chance to repeat the experiment I would work harder to control the variables which affected and made my results random and wrong. If I were able to do further work on osmosis in potato cores I would firstly repeat this experiment and try to gain some results from which I could make a sensible conclusion. I would also want to try the experiment with the cores in the solutions of different molarity but without soaking the cores in the 0.4M sucrose solution. By doing this I could discover the natural water concentration in a potato cell with a partially permeable membrane. ...read more.

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  1. Osmosis is defined as 'the movement of water molecules from an area of high ...

    And there fore the weight should decrease, at least noticeable for us to notice. The difference between the water concentration in the potato and the 0.8 molar solution of sucrose is big, and the water in the potato should be transferred from the potato, through the permeable membrane, to the solution surrounding the potato.


    sucrose solution for the same period of time, 3 and a half hours, this will assure a fair test. 3. The volume of sucrose will be kept constant at all times, if it was not so then a fair comparison could not be made this allows a fair test and reliable results.

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