• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The Effect of Salt Concentration on Osmosis in Potato Cells

Extracts from this document...


Title: The Effect of Salt Concentration on Osmosis in Potato Cells Introduction The purpose of this experiment was to observe the effect of various concentrations of water and salt solutions on osmosis of potato cells. Osmosis is the movement of water through a semi-permeable membrane separating solution of a different concentrations. Water molecules follow a concentration gradient; that is, a net movement from where they are more concentrated to where they are less concentrated. Question What will happen to the cell membrane of potatoes if they are exposed to various salt concentrations? Hypothesis The following is the predicted outcome of the experiment: The potatoes in the higher salt concentration will shrink. The concentration of water outside the potatoes has a high salt concentration. The water inside the potatoes will permeate the cell membrane and potato cell will shrivel which is known as hypotonic. The potatoes in the lower salt concentration will expand. ...read more.


2 pieces of potato were placed into each of the 4 glasses for 8 hours. The potatoes were removed from each glass and patted dry with a paper towel. The labels from the glasses were removed and placed by the potatoes to identify each set of potatoes The potatoes were measured and averaged for each set. The variable in this experiment is the water/salt content of the solution. The assumptions are that time, water temperature and surface area are constant. Results The findings were that where the salt concentration in the solution was high, the volume of the potato sample declined; that is, the potato sample shrank in size. Where the salt concentration was lowest, the volume of the potato increased; that is, the potato swelled. The results are summarized as follows: 0% Solution 1.75% Solution 3.5% Solution 7% Solution Beginning Average Volume 4000 Cubic CM 4000 Cubic CM 4000 Cubic CM 4000 Cubic CM Ending Average Volume 5203 Cubic CM 3528 Cubic CM 2957 Cubic ...read more.


There is a movement of water from the cell causes the shrinking. The 0% solution was hypotonic and the 1.75%, 3.5% and 7% solutions were hypertonic. An incidence of isotonic was not displayed. The hypothesis prediction made prior to the experiment were correct except that an isotonic state was not found. The results could have been impacted by the accuracy in the size of the potato samples. Additionally, the measurement of the potato samples after the experiment was conducted were not exact, the volume calculations could be effected. The water temperature also could have an impact as the salt must dissolve in the solution. In a research study to purchase a water filter, knowing about osmosis would be helpful. Understanding osmosis helped me to understand process of reverse osmosis which basically is osmosis with pressure. In reverse osmosis, the membrane is used to form a very fine filter. The water is put on one side of the membrane and pressure is applied to stop, and then reverse, the osmotic process. It generally takes a lot of pressure and is fairly slow, but it works. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Life Processes & Cells section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a star student thought of this essay

4 star(s)

Response to the question

This essay is excellent in investigating the effect of salt concentration on osmosis in potato cells in that it introduces the investigation, provides relevant background information, lists out clear and simple procedures, presents the data collected in a coherent manner ...

Read full review

Response to the question

This essay is excellent in investigating the effect of salt concentration on osmosis in potato cells in that it introduces the investigation, provides relevant background information, lists out clear and simple procedures, presents the data collected in a coherent manner and even justifies conclusions using data collected in a insightful manner. The essay introduces the aim of experiment clearly at the beginning and crafts the procedure to test this aim. The writer provides an elaborate hypothesis, detailing 3 different outcomes and justifies these outcomes using relevant scientific theory. The materials and apparatus section actually not just lists equipment used but also mentions other details such as quality, quantity, concentration and other details where relevant. Coupled with very simple procedures, the report also presents data very neatly and coherently. In the conclusion, the writer follows up on the data collected to conclude, justifying each conclusion with data. In the end, the writer actually provides real-life applications of the theory employed in the report. However, one note of improvement could be to include the concept of independent, dependent and control variables.

Level of analysis

The report definitely exceeds expectations in several aspects of analysis but also needs more improvement in other aspects. For example, the investigating question needs more improvement as it is rather inaccurate and blur in focus, simply asking “what will happen…” which could be put forward in a more scientific manner as “what is the effect of…” as mentioned by the writer in the title itself. However, the hypothesis section is very well done and can score well among markers as the writer elaborates on each situation that might arise instead of just listing them. All tables show data with consistent number of decimal values, the correct units, proper headings so the report scores on data presentation as well, but to improve the uncertainties of instruments can be indicate. One shortcoming of the report is its lack of depth in the evaluation section. The report discusses the data but could also analyse the trends and other technical details of the data. The report suggests a minor improvement to the experimental procedure but more of such improvements could have been suggested. The writer also does well in extending the report to real-life application, which is commendable.

Quality of writing

The whole report has an excellent presentation. There are very few grammar or spelling errors but even these are not glaring errors. The use of technical terms is adequate and the report explains the biology behind the whole report, detailing the theory on osmosis very well. The report could perhaps be improved by defining the technical terms to a greater extent.

Did you find this review helpful? Join our team of reviewers and help other students learn

Reviewed by Arcturus 14/03/2012

Read less
Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Life Processes & Cells essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Biology Coursework - Osmosis

    5 star(s)

    As this happened, the potato lots its stability and size, it became flaccid. The experiment, was in my opinion a success, and demonstrated the process of osmosis very well. Conclusion: Reliability, Precision, Accuracy & Anomalies Reliability is based on the consistency of a set of measurements, there were very small

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Thyroid Cancer Research Project

    3 star(s)

    growth of cancer cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing. 1.3b Surgery is the most preferred type of treatment as each other type of treatment has its side effects.Moreover it has the least recurrence results within all of the other treatments.

  1. Lab Research Paper. Just a Pinch of Salt and a Dash of Bacteria: the ...

    coli 101, grow. Materials: The materials used in each part of the procedure varied. Different materials were needed for different parts. The materials needed to perform Part 1: Making LB Agar were: four 250 milliliter media bottles and four black caps, a 1000 milliliter beaker, a scoopula, weigh boats, LB

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

    So the concentration of the solute content of potatoes must be 0.23%. Prediction: In Section P. I predicted that the potatoes would have a solute content at around 0.25%. The real solute content of the potato was 0.23%. This proves my prediction was accurate.

  1. Investigation on Osmosis.

    Mass After (g) Change in Mass(g) Average (g) 0.0. 1.69 2.06 0.37 1.67 2.02 0.35 0.36 0.4. 1.66 1.62 -0.04 1.70 1.65 -0.05 -0.045 0.8. 1.82 1.37 -0.45 1.68 1.16 -0.52 -0.485 From the results that we gathered from out pilot experiment we can estimate that the concentration inside of our potato is 0.34M (approximately).

  2. Discover what effect water with different NaCl concentrations have on potatoes, and find out ...

    On the graph I have guessed the molarity of the potato (and therefore isotonic point) to be 0.5, but I have no way of knowing for sure without doing the experiment. At "C" on the graph, the solution is hypertonic to the cell, meaning that the solution has a higher molarity than the potato cell.

  1. Free essay

    Biology - osmosis

    Gain/loss 19.00% Gain water 12.92% Gain water -29.21% Lose water -38.20% Lose water Average mass before: Distilled water = 1.43+2.14 = 3.57 = 3.57/2 = 1.79 0.1M = 1.43+2.13 = 3.56 = 3.56/2 = 1.78 1M = 1.44+2.11 = 3.55 = 3.55/2 = 1.78 2M = 1.44+2.11 = 3.55 =

  2. Osmotic pressure

    Also the potato sections weren't all the same size so maybe the surface area of the potato could change the osmosis effect, leaving it inaccurate. 5. By leaving the experiment for a full 48 hours, the osmosis would have time to complete its process, therefore leaving more accurate results.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work