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Sam Carner, Sydney Atkinson,

Sarah Nadir, Peyton Korte
Abstract (problem, hypothesis and results)
This lab observed the process of osmosis. Through observing the diffusion of
water in/out of a potato using different solutes, our problem tested was
determining how those different solutes affected osmosis. Osmosis is determined
by the concentration of water molecules inside vs outside a membrane. Water
molecules will diffuse to the less concentrated region.

Our hypothesis stated that due to the higher concentration of water inside the
potato, the water will diffuse to outside the potato, to the less concentrated
solution with sugar and salt, causing the potato to lose weight.

We found that both salt and sugar solutes cause the potato to lose weight due
to osmosis caused by a higher water concentration within the potato.
Active transport- the movement of molecules across the
cell membrane from a low concentration to a higher
concentration. It requires energy and gets it from ATP
(adenosine triphosphate)
Passive transport- the movement of molecules across a
membrane from a high concentration to a low
concentration. This process does not require energy.
Osmosis- the movement of water particles from higher
areas of concentration to areas with a lower concentration.
Active vs. Passive Transport
Active (low-high) Passive (high-low)

Exocytosis (force out) Diffusion- strives for equilibrium

Excretion (waste) Osmosis- high-low in permeable
Secretion (useful) membrane
Endocytosis (take in) Facilitated diffusion
Phagocytosis (cell eating) Hypertonic- more solute, less
Pinocytosis (cell drinking) H 2O
Hypotonic- less solute, more H2O
Isotonic- equilibrium
Active vs. Transport (continued)

In the passive transport diagram,

you can see the molecules diffusing
across the membrane, or using
facilitated diffusion to do so.
In the active transport diagram, you
can see the membrane proteins,
activates b ATP, aiding in the
diffusion of molecules across the
Involves maintaining a balance
of several factors that make a
cell healthy.
The cell membrane is a lipid
bilayer that prevents that
passage of water and ions.
Allows cells to maintain a Some cells cannot maintain homeostasis in
certain solutions. When the cell cannot control
higher concentration of sodium
osmosis in conditions, it can burst or become
ions out the outside of the cell. shriveled depending on water movement in and
out of the cell
Homeostasis (continued)
Cells need to maintain proper
concentrations of ions inside of
The cell membrane slows the
movement of water into or out
of the cell, which helps the cell
maintain a certain volume.
Lysosomes digest unwanted
This is how cells maintain homeostasis; membrane
substances. The inside of the proteins allow different ions to pass across to
cell is a pH of 7, but the inside maintain a consistent concentration and pH.
of a lysosome is a pH of 5.
Osmosis is the movement of water particles from areas of higher concentration
to areas of lower concentration.

The right side of the container has a higher concentration of

sucrose molecules and a lower concentration of water
molecules. The left side water molecules are diffusing across
the membrane to the right side with a lower concentration.
The sucrose molecules on the left side are diffusing across
the membrane to the right side where there are no sucrose
Hyper/Hypo/Isotonic Solutions Only water is
moving out of
the cell; there
is no water
Hypertonic Solutions: coming into the
Solute concentration higher than cell

More dissolved particles outside of cell than inside of cell

Hyper = more (think hyperactive); Tonic = dissolved particles
Water moves out of cell into solution
Cell shrinks
Hyper/Hypo/Isotonic Solutions (cont.)
Hypotonic Solution

Solute concentration lower than cell Only water is moving into the cell

Less dissolved particles outside of cell than inside of cell

Hypo = less, under (think hypodermic, hypothermia); Tonic = dissolved
Water moves into cell from solution
Cell expands (and may burst)
Hyper/Hypo/Isotonic Solutions (cont.)
Isotonic Solution

Solute concentration equal to that of cell

No net water movement

There is equal movement of

water in and out of the cell.
The potato should lose weight when placed in
the solutions because there is a higher
concentration of sugar/salt outside the
membrane of the potato; the water in the
potato will diffuse across the membrane into
the area of higher concentration.
Controls and Variables
Controls-Distilled water, cup size, amount of solute in each
solution, time of potato in solution

Independent Variables-The type of solute in the solutions

Dependent Variable-Mass of potato

Get Materials- Make 5 different solutions-
1. Five 300mL Beakers
1. Fill beaker to 300mL of water as a control
2. 1tsp of table salt (NaCl)
2. Add 150 mL water to the beaker. Mix in 1 tsp NaCl (table
3. 1tsp of sucrose (C12H22O11)
salt) until dissolved. .
4. 1tsp of glucose (C6H12O6)
3. Add 150 mL water to the beaker. Mix in 1 tsp C12H22O11
5. 1tsp of sea salt
(sucrose) until dissolved.
6. Distilled water
4. Add 150 mL water to the beaker. Mix in 1 tsp C6H12O6
7. Stirring stick
(glucose) until dissolved.
8. Balance
5. Add 150 mL of water to beaker. Mix in 1 tsp of sea salt until
9. Potato
fully dissolved.
10. Towels (for mass)
11. Timer
Procedure (continued)
6. Weigh the potatoes. Record the initial weight in the data table below

7. Add one piece of potato to each one of the 5 solutions.

8. Get your timer out. Each potato piece needs to be in the solutions for 20 minutes.

9. Once the time is up, carefully take the potato pieces out of the solutions and place them onto the towels.

10. Next weigh the potatoes

11. Calculate the amount of weight gained after soaking for 20 minutes. The more weight gained, the more osmosis
has taken place. The equation for percent mass change is (massF-massI/massI) Record data below.
All the pictures are
of our lab setup.

Sea Salt C6H12O6


NaCl C12H22O1
Data (with distilled water)
Our data with the distilled water was in line
with our hypothesis because each substance
that our potato was in was hypertonic,
therefore sucked the water out of the

Solute Molar mass of Initial Weight Final Weight Weight Difference Percent Change
solution ?? (g) (g) (g)

NaCl .241 M 0.9g 0.3g 0.6g -66.7%

Sea Salt .241 M 0.8g 0.4g 0.4g -50%

C6H12O6 .078 M 0.7g 0.4g 0.3g -42.9%

C12H22O11 .0401 M 0.7g 0.3g 0.4g -57.1%

Data (without distilled water)
By using tap water we were exposing our potato to inorganic minerals and
other unaccounted for factors that messed with the results. This was the first
round of trials that we did.

We scratched these data points.

Conclusion (purpose and results)
The purpose of this lab was to test and discover how salt and sugar solutions affect
osmosis in a potato.

We found that NaCl decreased the mass of the potato by 66.7% and sea salt decreased the
mass by 50%. C6H12O6 Decreased the mass of the potato by 42.9% and C12H22O11
decreased the mass by 57.1%.

All potato parts began the trials with weights around 0.7g and 0.9g, and ended the trials
with weights around 0.3g and 0.4g.

The solute that caused the most osmosis to occur was NaCl.

The solute that caused the least amount of osmosis to occur was C6H12O6.
Conclusion (how does the data agree to the hypothesis?)
Our data agrees with our hypothesis. We stated that the potato would lose weight due to a
higher concentration of water molecules inside the cell than outside the cell. Because there
were more salt molecules outside the cells, the system was hypertonic, therefore pulled
water out of the potato sample, causing it to lose weight.
Conclusion (what could have gone wrong?)
While testing for osmosis, as stated before, we looked for it through different
concentrations. Experiment errors are common, due to the fact that we are working in a
high school lab. One of our errors was that we used tap water, instead of distilled water.
Distilled water is pure water, having none of the inorganic minerals that are generally
found in water. Since we were testing concentrations of salt and sugars, they could have
been affected by the inorganic minerals that are generally found in water. By using
regular tap water we affected our data, and had to retest. Our results were different
proving that the tap water did affect our data. Another problem could have occurred when
we were measuring out the salt and sugar for the concentrations. We did not spend a lot of
time measuring these out, and that could have affected our data heavily. If they all didnt
have the same amount they would have affect the potato in different ways.
Conclusion (What would you have done differently? What
would you use if you could? Would you try anything else?)
To make this experiment better we should have used distilled water to begin with.
Although, we found it interesting how much tap water made a difference in our data. That
could be a whole other experiment in itself, using different types of water with different
concentrations to test for osmosis. Although, that is testing for a bunch of differnt things.
As for not taking enough time, to fix this we should measure them out with the measuring
spoons then weigh them. This would help us make sure they all had the same mass. One
other thing we would try differently is to place something over top of our solutions to make
sure that nothing will fly in.
Conclusion (What did you learn? How does this lab relate to
what you are studying?)
From this lab, I learned that adding solute, such as salt and sugar, to a solution creates a
hypertonic system. This is because it causes there to be less water particles in the solution
than within the membrane of objects such as a potato. The opposite of this situation is a
hypotonic system, in which the solution outside the membrane is more concentrated than
within it.

This lab relates to what were studying because osmosis and diffusion are ways that cells
maintain homeostasis. When a cell is no longer able to maintain homeostasis, it deforms
or dies.
Conclusion (How does this relate to society?)
This relates to society because all living things are made of cells. When cells cannot
perform osmosis, or active and passive transport, they are no longer able to maintain
homeostasis, and therefore die.

This is also important when looking and saltwater and freshwater animals. If a saltwater
fish is placed in a freshwater environment, or vice versa, that fish will explode from
water diffusing into its body, or die from dehydration, caused by water diffusing out of its

A common example of osmosis is pruned fingers after being in water for long periods of
time. Your fingers become bloated due to water diffusing into them, causing the pruned
Conclusion (uses of?)
Osmosis is used for preserving fruits and meats. To preserve fruit, osmosis is used to
dehydrate it. To preserve meat, osmosis draws salt into it which prevents bacteria to enter
the meat.

Osmosis can also be used for desalination (turning salt water into drinking water)

Reverse osmosis turns salt water from the ocean into water that can be used for
bathing, agriculture, and drinking
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