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Presented with raw potato how would you carry out an experiment to determine the concentration of the potato cell in molar strength?

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Introduction

Potato Investigation Presented with raw potato how would you carry out an experiment to determine the concentration of the potato cell in molar strength? The experiment was set up to be as fair as possible. Then the potato chips were cut into 15 cylinders using a cork cutter and then cut to a length of exactly 4cm each with a scalpel. Then three were weighed at one time on a top pan balance to find an average mass, this was done because it did not involve confusion over which potato cylinder was which after the experiment. Once these averages were found and recorded the potato chips were placed into their test tube solutions of 0.0M(distilled water), 0.25M, 0.5M, 0.75M and 1.0M solutions of sucrose. Then the contents, each containing three potato cylinders were left for 50minutes. When the time was over I removed the potato with a pair tweezers and placed them on a paper towel to try and dry of any excess water. ...read more.

Middle

In the 0.5 M solution there is a change, the gradient of the graph decreases steeply and the potato loses mass to 4.4% then in the 0.75M solution the gradient decreases as it loses yet more mass to 10.4%. The first observation I made was after the potato cylinders were placed in their solutions I could see a difference. The ones in the 0.0M and 0.25M solutions were floating and the potatoes in the 0.5M, 0.75M and 1.0M solutions were at the bottom of the test tube, this lead me to drawing my next conclusion. The graph shows that the potato in the 0.0M solution and in the 0.25M is hyperosmotic, as I said in my prediction, this means that there is a higher water potential in the distilled water and 0.25M solution than in the potato, which has a high concentration of solutes. Therefore this is why the water diffuses by osmosis down the concentration gradient from high concentration to low concentration, resulting in the potato gaining mass. ...read more.

Conclusion

This might have either taken some water out of the potato or it might of left some excess water on the potato. This part of the experiment is difficult to come up with an accurate and fair method, as other ways would also lead to some slight mistakes. Also the potato itself was not definitely from the same potato and was not exactly the same size, although I did try to cut them to 4cm each, this could have effected the amount of water gained or lost. Another way of improving the results would have been to leave the experiment running longer, this would have enabled me to find the saturation point (when the potato can no longer take in any more water) and dehydration point (when the potato cannot lose any more water) and therefore get a more accurate result. Finally, I could extend the experiment to a more exact level by looking at the potato cylinders under a microscope, then I would be able to see the cells in greater detail and draw some more observational results. ...read more.

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