Investigating the Concentration of Plant Cell Sap Using Potato Tuber Cells

Investigating the Concentration of Plant Cell Sap Using Potato Tuber Cells

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Investigating the Concentration of Plant Cell Sap Using Potato Tuber Cells

An experiment to work out the concentration of plant cell sap using
potato tuber cells

First of all and the most important are the safety precautions we will
take throughout this experiment

· Wear safety glasses to protect eyes

· Handling the acids carefully

· Careful while using kitchen knife

(And all the simple things such as not running etc.)

Another important aspect before we start is making the experiment a
fair test. This includes making sure the volume of each acid is the
same using a measuring cylinder. The same temperature for each
individual solution will be the same as they will be done one after
the other and left for the same amount of time in the same place. A
significant temperature change in between each one is unlikely to
occur, especially indoors. Also the 6 potato chips will be the same
size (using a ruler). The only difference between each solution will
be the concentration.

Apparatus -

· Cork borer

· Potato

· Measuring cylinder

· Glass test tubes

· 6 petri dishes with lids

· Kitchen knife

· White tile

· Weighing scales

· Different sugar concentrations/molarities (0.1M, 0.2M etc)

· Washable pen



Useful Science involved -
=========================


Osmosis
-------

Osmosis is the diffusion of water from a dilute solution to a more
concentrated solution through a semi-permeable membrane. The water
moves from where it's a high concentration to where it's a low
concentration. Concentration of the water is the only thing that
matters; the solute molecules (e.g. sugar) can't pass through the
membrane. The effect of all of this is to gradually dilute the sugar
solution

Example -

Prediction - After taking a close look at my preliminary experiment, I
predict that the molarity of the potato will be 0.3M and the mass will
increase if the solution is less than 0.

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Related Searches

3M and decrease if it is more.
If the solution is exactly 0.3M then there will be no change in mass,
this is an isotonic solution. A below 0.3M would mean that water would
move in by osmosis and a solution above 0.3M would mean that water
would move out by osmosis from higher to lower concentration. A
solution of 0.3M (solution that crosses the point a zero) would mean
that water wouldn't move in or out at all (isotonic solution).



Method -
========

1. Firstly we cut out 6 potato chips all of them the same size
(roughly an inch long) this was done using a cork borer.

2. We dried each piece and weighed them separately recording each
weight in a results table.

3. We then placed each chip in the different concentrations

4. Next we labelled each glass tube with our initials and the correct
molarity (eg.0.1M)

5. We left them to settle for a day

6. Then we dried them and weighed them once again

7. Finally we recorded the final weight in the results table and
worked out the change in weight and the percentage change.

8. We did this experiment twice to get more reliable and better
results that will in affect improve my conclusion.


Conclusion

Both of the graphs have a negative correlation, which we would expect.
My prediction was that the molarity of the potato would be 0.3M. If we
look at where the line of best fit passes at the point zero, we can
see that it is approximately 2.5M, which slightly disagrees with my
prediction although it is fairly close. Both graphs show that when the
potato was in a solution less than approx 2.5M, then water moved in
and therefore the weight of the potato increased and a solution over
approx 2.5M, then water was lost and therefore the weight of the
potato decreased.

The water in each case has moved from where it is in high
concentration to where it's in low concentration along a concentration
gradient. The semi permeable membrane in the potato allows the water
to enter and leave. The sugar molecules can't fit through this and
therefore stays put. The point in which both lines cross at point zero
which is about 2.5M, here water doesn't enter or leave, this is
because the concentration is equal outside and inside the potato. This
agrees with my prediction.


Evaluation

The results which I ended up with were fairly good and backed up my
prediction. Looking at the graphs, the pattern wasn't perfect; there
were one or two anomalies. The anomaly that stood out the most was on
graph 2 on 0.5M; it is slightly out off the pattern. This may have
been because the weight of that particular potato chip was 2g lighter
than the chip used in the first experiment. However, the mass of these
chips was the same. This may have occurred because the second solution
may have been left slightly longer or that it had been dried more
thoroughly than the chip in experiment 1. I think the method I used
was fairly reliable. There are a few things that I could have changed
- I think we could have had a better method for drying the chips
because if a chip isn't dried properly then there is much more water
on the chip at the start than another chip. This may affect the
results and therefore may end up affecting the conclusion. Another
thing we could have improved was the to try and do each individual
solution at the very same time. The problem with this is that we
simply didn't have enough people to do this. We could have even looked
at different variables such as trying different temperatures or
stirring the solution, this would increase the rate and would be
quicker, give us a better, wider range of results. The temperature at
the time we did each set of experiments may have been different and
may have affected the results. This also was a problem, keeping the
temperature constant. Nevertheless, although there was the odd anomaly
the pattern on the graphs was clear and stood out, therefore I think
that they were still a good set of results.
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