Investigate the Cell Sap Concentration of Solute in a Potato Chip using Osmosis

Investigate the Cell Sap Concentration of Solute in a Potato Chip using Osmosis

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Investigate the Cell Sap Concentration of Solute in a Potato Chip using Osmosis


Aim

The aim of the experiment is to investigate the cell sap concentration
of solute in a potato chip using osmosis and produce a figure informed
by the investigation as to what this is.

Background Information

A factor that effects how much water moves into a cell is the solute
concentration within it. Water moves in and out of cells by diffusion,
this diffusion is called osmosis. Osmosis is the diffusion of water
molecules from a place with a high water potential or high
concentration of water to a low water potential or low concentration
of water. If a solution has a high water potential this means it is
weak or dilute solution so it only has a small solute (e.g. glucose)
concentration. However, if a solution has a low water potential it is
a strong more concentrated solution because it has a much higher
solute concentration. Osmosis is the diffusion of water in these
solutions from a high water potential to a low water potential or in
terms of solute concentrations, from a dilute solution to a more
concentrated solution as a more concentrated solution would have a
much lower water potential that a dilute one. The water passes through
what is known as a partially permeable membrane, which basically is
what separates living cells from their surrounding. The membrane is
called partially permeable and not fully permeable because it only
allows water to diffuse through it and not solute. The cell wall is an
example of a fully permeable membrane because it allows water and
solute to pass through it, it does not block any of these molecules.

The diffusion of water molecules by osmosis always flows down a water
potential gradient, which basically means from a high to a low water
potential this is how the water moves up through a plant in the xylem
vessels, once one cell is full of water, the water will move all at
once to the next cell. The water is moving from a place of high
concentration to a place of low concentration, like the valves in our
hearts stop our blood flowing back the other way, the cell membrane of
the cell make sure the water only flows up the plant, this is known as
the transpiration stream. When water is lost through the stomata this
leaves empty cells with low water potentials therefore the water is
always moving up the plant from higher water potentials to ...


... middle of paper ...


...nt parts of the
potato as they may have different solute concentration and it may be
discovered that the point of no net movement will be different in
different areas of the potato or even in different areas of the same
chip. The smaller the potato slices from the different areas of the
potato then the more detailed an analysis could be of which part of
the potato has the highest/lowest % solute concentration.

The experiment could be done again using smaller concentrations, say
with a range of 5%-7% and at intervals of 0.25% this way a figure for
the actual % solute concentration in a potato chip could be
pin-pointed to a much more exact figure.

Finally an experiment could be done using different types of potatoes
to decipher whether the type of potato depends on the % solute
concentration it has. The trends could be taken for many types of
potato and then an average taken of them to give a figure which most
represents the solute concentrations in many potatoes. This figure
could then be compared or even investigated at the same time as an
experiment to see if there were different solute concentrations in
different parts of the potato and the links, if any, between them
analysed.

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