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BIO-LIT 10

OSMOSIS OBSERVATION USING POTATOES


SHARIFA REFRY

INTRODUCTION
The experiment on potatoes is based on the changes a cell would do during
osmosis when it meets different kinds of solution, in which osmosis is the movement
of water between the inner and outer part of a cell in which the water moves from a
part with a higher amount to a lower concentration, but only in a semipermeable
membrane, meaning only through membranes that only allows certain substances to
pass through. The potatoes acts as the cell, while saltwater and freshwater is used to
act as the solution. A saltwater has a lower concentration when compared to the
amount of water inside a cell, and a freshwater has a higher amount of water
compared to a cell. For a hypothesis, when a potato meets freshwater it would enlarge,
while another potato that meets saltwater will shrink.

PROCEDURES
MATERIALS: 1 potato, 2 beakers, water, salt, graduated cylinder, scale, glass
stirring rod, knife 2 x 150ml of water, 5 teaspoons of salt, timer.

1. Cut one potato into four parts symmetrically.


2. Take two of them, and weigh them separately in a scale.
3. Fill up the graduated cylinder with150ml of water and pour the water into
one beaker.
4. Redo the previous instruction again and pour the water into a different
beaker.
5. With the 5 teaspoons of salt, insert it into one of the beakers.
6. With a stirring rod, mix the salt and water until it combines into one.

7. Set your timer ready to one hour for both potatoes.


8. To make it in sync, press the timer button when the potato goes inside the
beaker.
9. Wait for one hour.
10. When the timer rings, see the change that appears in the potatoes.
11. Weigh the potatoes after the experiment.
12. Compare the amount of water in those beakers between before and after
the experiment.

DATA TABLE
MASS OF POTATO

SALTWATER
BEFORE: 4 grams

FRESHWATER
BEFORE: 4 grams

AMOUNT OF WATER

AFTER: 2.9 grams


BEFORE: 150 milligrams

AFTER: 3.5 grams


BEFORE: 150 milligrams

PHYSICAL CHANGE

AFTER: 168 milligrams


AFTER: 148 milligrams
The
potato
shrinks, The potato became more
became softer

dense (more firm)

A bigger visible change occurs with the potato soaked in saltwater. After an
hour, the potato decreased in weight from 4 grams to 2.9 grams, and the water
increases to 168 milligrams from 150 milligrams. A change occurred in which the
potatoes became softer and shrink in size. Compared with freshwater, the amount of
water decreases to 148 milligrams, but the mass also decreases to 3.5 grams. The
potato felt more dense and firm.

RESULTS
With this experiment, the potato models like a cell while the water acts as the
outer part of a cell. The potato in a saltwater solution increases in amount of water
because the water inside the potatoes goes outside. This happened because the potato
is a hypertonic solution while the saltwater is a hypotonic solution. Meaning, there is

more water inside the potato, a higher concentration, compared to the water outside,
which is the lower concentration. With the rule of passive transport, the water goes
outside because a cell needs to have equal amount of concentration between the outer
and inner parts of the cell. Because the saltwater has a huge amount of NaCl, the
water inside the potato keeps on coming out to stabilize the water both sides have.
Due to the loss of water, the potato shrivels in size and appearance. But with
freshwater, the potato became denser because different with saltwater, the freshwater
acts as the hypertonic solution while the potato is the hypotonic solution. With this
situation, the freshwater travels inside the potato so it has equal amount of water both
sides. If the water keeps on flowing inside the potato, it would burst eventually.
The hypothesis was semi right, the potato did shrink when it meets saltwater
due to being a hypotonic solution, but with freshwater, it is not possible for potatoes
to enlarge, but it could get denser and lead to a bursting of the potato.