# Investigating Whether the Strength of a Salt Solution Affect Osmosis in a Potato

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Investigating Whether the Strength of a Salt Solution Affect Osmosis in a Potato

Factors
=======

Factors that could affect the experiment: -

· Temperature of water

· Type of potato

· Amount of solution

· Amount of time the potato is in the solution

Factors that I will change in my investigation: -

· Percentage of salt in solution

Preliminary Equipment
=====================

7 Beakers (250ml)

7 strengths of sugar solution (100ml of each strength) as follows

1x 0.0% salt

1x 0.5% salt

1x 1.0% salt

1x 1.5% salt

1x 2.0% salt

1x 2.5% salt

1x 3.0% salt

Potato

Ruler

Cork Borer

Knife

Preliminary Plan
================

1. Cut into potato with cork borer.

2. Measure and cut 1.5cm of potato from the cork borer. Repeat steps
1. and 2. until you have 21 pieces of potato (3 per beaker) of equal
size

3. Pour approximately 100ml of 0% salt solution into the first beaker.
Label this beaker "0%" or "Water".

4. Pour approximately 100ml of 0.5% solution into second beaker. Label
this beaker "0.5%"

5. Repeat step 4. for different solutions as follows:

a. Beaker 3 = 1.0% solution, labelled "1.0%"

b. Beaker 4 = 1.5% solution, labelled "1.5%"

c. Beaker 5 = 2.0% solution, labelled "2.0%"

d. Beaker 6 = 2.5% solution, labelled "2.5%"

e. Beaker 7 = 3.0% solution, labelled "3.0%"

6. Wait approximately 1 hour.

7. Remove potato pieces, one beaker at a time, and record the average
percentile increase or decrease of each beaker. NB. Blot each piece of
potato before measuring!

Preliminary prediction
======================

I predict that the cells of the potato pieces in water will become
turgid, because the water will go through the membranes in the cells,
which are semi-permeable membranes and enter the vacuole. This will
push the cytoplasm against the membrane, which will increase the

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support given by the cell wall.

I also predict that in the high percentage salt solution, the cells
will become flaccid. This is because the solution in the vacuole will
be weaker than outside and so the water will move through osmosis out
of the cell vacuole.

Preliminary results

All segments started at 15mm.

Strength of solution (%)

Potato piece 1 length after 1hour (mm)

Potato piece 2 length after 1hour (mm)

Potato piece 3 length after 1hour (mm)

Average potato piece length after 1hour (mm)

Increase or decrease in length of potato piece after 1 hour (%)

0%

17mm

18mm

18mm

17.7mm

+17.3%

0.5%

18mm

16mm

18mm

17.3mm

+15.3%

1.0%

15mm

16mm

15mm

15.3mm

+2%

1.5%

15mm

15mm

14mm

14.7mm

-2.7%

2.0%

16mm

15mm

15mm

15.3mm

+2%

2.5%

15mm

17mm

14mm

15.3mm

+2%

3.0%

14mm

16mm

14mm

14.7mm

-2.7%

Preliminary Conclusion

My preliminary results had no pattern to them, which suggests that the
% strengths of sugar solution were incorrect. I then tried percentages
from 0% to 10% salt solution, going up in steps of 2% (i.e. 0%, 2%,
4%, 6%, 8%, 10%). This also proved unsuccessful, so I will try 0%, 5%,
10%, 15%, 20% and 25%.

Revised prediction
------------------

See "PRELIMINARY PREDICTION"

Revised Method
--------------

See "PRELIMINARY METHOD", but change the amounts stated in
"PRELIMINARY CONCUSION"

Revised Equipment
-----------------

· 6 beakers (250ml each)

· 6 x 100ml strengths of salt solution (0%, 5%, 10%, 15%, 20%, 25%)

· Potatoes

· Ruler

· Knife

· 6 gauge cork borer

· Knife

Revised Results
---------------

Strength of solution (%)

Potato piece 1 length after 1hour (mm)

Potato piece 2 length after 1hour (mm)

Potato piece 3 length after 1hour (mm)

Average potato piece length after 1hour (mm)

Increase or decrease in length of potato piece after 1 hour (%)

0%

15mm

17mm

18mm

16.7mm

+11.3

5%

17mm

15mm

16mm

16mm

+7.7

10%

17mm

16mm

15mm

16mm

+7.7

15%

15mm

14mm

15mm

14.7mm

-2

20%

15mm

14mm

15mm

14.7mm

-2

25%

14mm

14mm

14mm

14mm

-7.7

Revised Results (Graph)

[IMAGE]

Conclusion

In this experiment I have found out that the strength of salt solution
does affect the rate of osmosis in a potato. When the solution was
strengthened, the samples of potato became more flaccid, and therefore
shorter. This can be seen on the graph; as you progress along the
x-axis ("Strength of solution (%)"), the value along the y-axis
("Increase or decrease after 1 hour (%)") decreases, e.g. between the
x-axis values of 10% and 15%, the y-axis value decreases from +7.7% to
-2%. (This also can tell us that the solution inside the cells of a
potato is between 10% and 15%, as the y-axis value of 0% lies
in-between the x-axis values of 10% and 15% - from the line of best
fit on the graph, I predict the value would be approximately 14%).

My results support my prediction insofar as the cells of the potato
pieces in water did become turgid, and the cells in a strong
concentration of salt solution became flaccid. I didn't make a
prediction about specific percentages of salt solution.

Evaluation

I believe my results are accurate because there does seem to be a
continuous pattern between different results, and the spread of the
graph appears to be fairly even. I encountered one anomalous result. I
recorded no change for the 1st piece tested in 0% solution, when the
rest of the results labelled "piece #1" shows a trend, and pieces #2
and #3 are grouped very close together (17mm and 18mm respectively),
and piece #1 was out of synch with them, reading 15mm (no change). I
believe that the reason for this anomaly is that I cut the piece
slightly too short during preparation.