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Osmosis Investigation

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Introduction

Osmosis Investigation We have been asked to investigate the effect of osmosis on potato chips. Osmosis is the diffusion of water from a lower concentration of solute to a higher concentration of solute, through a semi-permeable membrane. In the diagram below, you can see that the level rises in the concentrated solution and the level falls in the dilute solution due to the particles moving across. Not all molecules are able to pass through the membrane. Experimentation is needed to discover which membranes allow osmosis, as not all membranes act in this way. ...read more.

Middle

There are many factors in this experiment where some will be controlled where others will be variable. For this experiment I am going to do all the experiments at room temperature. I will be using the same type of potato and initially the water potential of the potato will be kept the same. We will make sure that the water potential is the same in each potato by cutting them without being washed and peeled. The size of the potato is very important because if the size varies so will the amount of mass it looses or gains. ...read more.

Conclusion

We know that osmosis is the flow of water in a solution through a membrane while the other molecules are unable to pass through the membrane. Experimentation is needed to discover which membranes allow osmosis, as not all membranes act in this way. Some membranes may allow all or none of the molecules of a solution to pass through, only a few may allow a selective flow. The cell membrane of the potato is partially permeable (it lets some substances in but not all substances). This means that water particles can diffuse into the cells, via osmosis. This occurs if the cells are surrounded by a weak solution e.g. Vimto. If the cells are surrounded by a stronger solution, e.g. very salty water, the cells may loose water by osmosis. ...read more.

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