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The investigation of Osmosis in Potato Chips.

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Priya Thakrar 10Y Biology Coursework The investigation of Osmosis in Potato Chips Osmosis will occur across a semi-permeable membrane whenever there is a difference between the water concentrations on the two sides of the membrane, and when this happens to cells they will either become turgid if water flows into them, or plasmolysed if water flows out of them, and therefore changing their mass. Aim: To investigate how changing concentration in a sugar solution affects the rate of osmosis in potato chips. Prediction: I predict that as potato chip is placed in a solution of high water concentration then the potato chips will increase in weight and if put in a low concentration then it will do the opposite. If the concentration of a solution into which a potato chip of 2cm of a potato is placed is greater than a certain level the potato chip will contract, and if the concentration is less than that level it will expand. This can be seen in living cells. The cell membrane in cells is semi-permeable and the vacuole contains a sugar/salt solution. So when a cell is placed in distilled water (high concentration of water), water will move across the semi-permeable membrane into the cell (lower concentration of water) by osmosis, making the cell swell. This cell is now turgid. ...read more.


Diagram: Here is a diagram showing the apparatus, and how the experiment is set up: Procedure: I plan to carry out this experiment by using all the safety issues and fair testing to give me the most reliable and most accurate set of results. 1. Collect apparatus as shown above in diagram. Take one large potatoes and check that they are both healthy and hard. 2. Using a knife peel the potato. 3. Using a scalpel and ruler cut the potato into cylinder shaped chips, which are 5 cm long. Be very careful whilst cutting the potato, as the scalpel is exceptionally sharp. Cut 18 chips like this. 4. Take a test tube rack and place 6 test tubes and using the sticky labels labelling them 0 molar, 0.2 molar, 0.4 molar, 0.6 molar, 0.8 molar and 1 molar, this is so that we know which test tube contains what amount of sugar solution. 5. Using a measuring cylinder measure out different amounts of the sugar solution being at 0 molar, 0.2 molar, 0.4 molar, 0.6 molar, 0.8 molar and 1 molar, and also distilled water which is then poured into the test tubes in a percentage ratio giving me the various molar concentrations. 6. Then weigh every potato chip on an electronic balance and recorded the weights. ...read more.


0.1m, 0.2m, 0.3m and so on. The cutting of the potatoes was the most difficult part of the experiment as although I was recording my results by mass, it could well have affected the surface area and also the overall rate of osmosis. If I were to repeat the experiment I would have possibly found a machine to cut the potato as it would ensure that all potatoes would be the same weight and also dimensions. As well as the potato I could have found a more accurate way to measure out the solutions and to determine the molar concentrations. Perhaps I could have used a burette. This would ensure that I have an accurate amount of solution in each test tube. I could also weigh each chip on a more accurate scale, e.g. not to 0.00g but to 0.0000g. There were not any anonymous results, but some were not as close to the line of best fit as others. This could be because when the potato chips were removed from the test tubes and dried I may well have dried some potatoes more thoroughly than others and so some would have more excess water, which would add to the mass. If the experiment was repeated I could find another way to dry the potatoes that would ensure that all were dried in the same way. However with all this said I think that the experiment was truly successful and I was very pleased with the complete comparison of my results with my initial prediction. ...read more.

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

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