Sally Fitzgibbons Foundation

Beginning the Academic Essay

From the results, it has been shown that when the potato cylinders were placed in the distilled water an increase in their total mass over the 50-minute period was observed. This is due to the process of osmosis. As the distilled water was a hypotonic solution, meaning it had a low solvent concentration Campbel et all., (2008). In comparison to the cells of the potato, which where considered hypertonic, the movement of water flowed from the distilled water into the cells of the potato, causing them to swell and increase in mass, as shown in the data collected.
In contrast, from the result shown above, it can be seen that when the potato cylinders were placed in the different concentrations of sodium chloride (0.5, 1.0 and 1.5 mol/L) an overall loss in the mass of the potato cylinders was observed. This is due from the potato cylinders having a hypotonic internal environment in comparison to the hypertonic sodium chloride solutions. As a result, osmosis causes the movement of water from the hypotonic environment of the potato to the hypertonic environment of the sodium chloride solutions.
Furthermore, when the potato cylinders were placed in the various solutions, it was also shown from the results that the cylinders placed in the distilled water showed the least rate of change in mass. This is due to the cells within potatoes already having a turgid structure, hence an internal hypotonic environment, which is the optimal conditions for a plant cell.
Furthermore, from the results it can be shown that the 1.0 mol/L sodium Chloride caused the greatest rate of change in mass of the potato cylinders. From this it can be suggested that this had an extremely greater difference between the hypertonic and hypotonic environments and as a result caused the greatest change in mass over the 50-minute period.

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