Osmosis in Potatoes

Osmosis in Potatoes

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Osmosis in Potatoes

My main aim in this experiment is to find out if osmosis occurs in a
potato, and how it affect the potato in different molar solutions of
sucrose and water, and finally the approximate morality of the potato.

Apparatus

· Stop Clock - to time our experiment

· Cutting tile - to cut the potato on

· Knife - to cut the potato

· Measuring flask - to measure the solutions

· Six beakers - to do the experiment in

· Distilled water - part of the experiment

· Sucrose - part of the experiment

· Potatoes - part of the experiment

· Tissue paper - to dry the potatoes after the osmosis takes place

· Balance - to weigh the potatoes

· Cork borer - to cut out potato cylinders

Hypothesis

Osmosis is the net movement of water particles through a
semi-permeable membrane from an area of high concentration to an area
of low concentration. Water particles in a sugar solution are less
concentrated than pure water as the larger sugar molecules spread them
out. Particles diffuse both ways through the membrane, but the net
movement will always follow the concentration gradient. Net movement
will not occur between equal concentrations of solutions. Larger
molecules e.g. glucose cannot diffuse through the membrane.

The potato, when cut up into pieces, will need water and light to
survive. With both of these sources the potato will keep on working,
until it dies of either lack of water, too much water.

Potatoes produce sugars by photosynthesis. If a potato is placed in a
solution stronger than it's own internal glucose solution, water will
diffuse out and it will shrink, as the water molecules outside will be
less dense as they are more spaced out by the sugar molecules. It will
continue to shrink until the concentrations are equal. Similarly if a
potato is placed in a weaker solution it will have the opposite
effects.

Prediction

As the potato (hopefully) contains glucose the distilled water is more

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concentrated in the potato, and therefore the water should transfer
from the water to the potato, making the potato bigger in size, and
heavier in weight i.e. the potato will swell and become turgid.

The changes in the potatoes placed in sucrose solution will probably
be very slight. I know this because I have done some extra research
and found out the potato should have a morality of between 0.2 and
0.4.

There will not be much change when the potato is put in the 0.2 and
0.4 molar glucose solution, as this is roughly the same as the potato
so there will only be a small net movement in water particles and a
small change in weight and turgidity of the potato.

However when the potato is placed in a 0.6 molar solution this will be
much higher than in the potato so the water outside the potato will be
less dense than inside, meaning water will diffuse out and the
potatoe's weight and turgidity will decrease. The 0.8 solution should
have similar effects as the 0.6 one, although slightly more
exaggerated.

Fair Testing

If this experiment isn't fair we will be obtaining the wrong results,
which would lead us to the wrong conclusions. Most importantly we will
have to get the measurements and the weights of the solutions and the
potatoes as exact and as accurate as possible. We will try and get the
measurements of the potatoes as accurate as possible for every single
potato, evenly cutting the potato pieces, and making a record of the
length to the nearest millimeter. And we will be using a very
sensitive balance so that we can get the best readings possible.

It is very important that the potato is completely covered by the
solution, so that osmosis will occur over the same surface area each
time.

Carrying out the experiment in a constant temperature is important, so
we will do all experiments in the same lab a roughly the same room
temperature.

Another important factor of a fair test is to start and stop the clock
as quickly as possible. This means that we should start the clock as
soon as the potato is put inside the test tube, and stop the clock as
soon as 20 minutes have passed. There are many sets to go through so
we will try our best to weigh the potatoes as quickly as we can. We
must make sure that the solution molarities are exactly right each
time as this could have disastrous effects if they are not. Small
things such as a dirty test tube, and a slightly cracked measuring
cylinder could still affect the results, and therefore we will take
these into account as well

Safety

Safety is an important aspect in every experiment, even if the
experiment seems to be very harmless. And that is why we take this
into consideration, no matter what.

Taking this into account we will be very careful when handling the
knife that it does not penetrate ourselves or the surrounding
students, and anyone of an unstable or nervous disposition will be
excluded from this part of the experiment.

We will also try to keep both feet firmly on the ground at all times
to prevent falling over.

But other than those mentioned there aren't many other important
unmitigated safety issues to worry about and we can relax and enjoy
the experiment.

Method

This task is very simple and should be very easy to carry out the
experiment There won't be any control for this experiment, as it is
not needed.

Firstly I prepared the potato chips. I pushed the cork borer through
the potato, cutting it into long cylinders. Then I cut the potatoes
into cylinders of 50mm, and weighed 6 potato cylinders for each
experiment. I had 6 sets because we will have to test the potatoes in
6 different types of solutions; 0.2, 0.4, 0.6, 0.8, 1.0 molar
solutions of sucrose, and distilled water.

I weighed each set and had them ready for us to put into the test
tube. Then we will put one set of 6 potatoes in the 6 test tubes at
the same time and start the clock running for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, we will take the potatoes out of the test tube, so
that the actual osmosis action stops, and we will put the potatoes
onto one piece of dry towel, in their own groups. We will dry them
with the tissue paper so that the water outside the tissue of the
potatoes won't alter the weight, and weigh and measure the potatoes.

We are repeating the experiment three times because this will produce
sufficiently accurate results.

Table of results

. The weight before and after the experiment represents the 3 sets of
results and the average taken out of the three. The increase/decrease
of the weight is calculated by taking the weight after, minus the
weight before. The percentage increase/decrease of the weight of the
potato is calculated by taking the weight increase/decrease divided by
the original weight multiplied by a hundred. The average percent
increase/decrease is derived from the average weight of the potato's,
not the average percentage change (not shown). This is why it is in
it's own column.

Test no. weight before Weight after change (+/-) percentage change

In Water

1 2.93 2.94 0.01 +0.34

2 2.90 2.92 0.03 +1.03

3 2.92 2.94 0.02 +0.68

AVERAGE 2.91 2.93 0.02 0.68%

0.2 molar

1 2.92 2.92 0.00 0.00

2 2.91 2.92 0.01 +0.34

3 2.92 2.92 0.00 0.00

AVERAGE 2.92 2.92 0.00 0.00%

0.4 molar

1 2.94 2.84 -0.10 -3.40

2 2.83 2.75 -0.08 -2.82

3 2.87 2.81 -0.06 -2.09

AVERAGE 2.88 2.80 -0.08 -2.77%

0.6 molar

1 2.93 2.81 -0.12 -4.09

2 2.93 27.8 -0.15 -5.11

3 2.94 2.77 -0.17 -5.78

AVERAGE 2.93 2.79 -0.14 -4.77%

0.8 molar

1. 2.90 2.74 -0.16 -5.51

2 2.81 2.61 -0.20 -7.11

3 2.93 2.76 -0.17 -5.80

AVERAGE 2.88 2.70 -0.18 -6.25%

1 molar

1 2.82 2.61 -0.21 -7.44

2 2.93 2.75 -0.18 -6.14

3 2.90 2.69 -0.21 -7.24

AVERAGE 2.88 2.69 -0.19 -6.60

Conclusion

The graphs and the results show that Osmosis actually took place in
the experiment. As the molars increased, the percentage of the weight
difference decreased. There weren't any anomalous results, so we
didn't have to repeat any of our experiments more than three times.

Solution Weight Weight Weight + or - Percentage change

Before(g) After(g) (g) (%)

water 2.91 2.93 0.02 0.68%

0.2 2.92 2.92 0.00 0.00%

0.4 2.88 2.80 -0.08 -2.77%

0.6 2.93 2.79 -0.14 -4.77%

0.8 2.88 2.70 -0.18 -6.25%

! 2.88 2.69 -0.19 -6.60

As predicted, I found that the potato's sugar content is around 0.2
moles.

[IMAGE]


Evaluation

We followed the plan correctly, got good results and proved our
hypothesis. My final results were very reliable due to the precautions
I took to make this a fair test.

To make this experiment better we should have done one test at a time,
reducing the time between weighing and taking out of the test tube. We
also could have got more people to do the experiment with us, so we
would get more results and a better average. Using more types of molar
sucrose solutions would have helped us obtain better and more accurate
results. We could have experimented using lengths of time.

Even though we didn't encorporate these ideas we still got good
results. Overall, given the apparatus that we got to carry out the
test, I think this experiment turned out to be very successful.
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