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Osmosis Egg Lab Report

Introduction

Osmosis is a process whereby water or any fluid moves from an area of less concentration of dissolved particles to a region of high concentration of dissolved particles across a semi-permeable membrane. Due to the difference in a concentration gradient, dissolve particles can move across a semi-permeable membrane tan area with a high concentration that o low concentration. To examine the shifting of water across a membrane, in this experiment we will employ a demineralized egg to represent human body cells. Immersing the eggs in vinegar for 2-4 days will dissolve eggshells thereby leaving a fragile, thin, semi-permeable covering similar to that of a human body cell (Magloire 227).

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In principle, we have three different types of concentrated solutions. A hypertonic solution is where liquefied particle concentration is greater than that of human cells and therefore water moves out of body cells. For a hypotonic solution, water shifts into the body cell since the solution are less concentrated liquefied particles as compared to those in body cells. Finally, we have an isotonic solution where the concentration body cell is the same as that of liquefied particles in a solution and consequently no flow of water across the membrane (Magloire 228).

Experimentally Procedure

Three eggs were put in Vinegar and left there for three days. After three days, the demineralized egg was removed from vinegar and then cleaned using tap water. The mass of a cup to be used in the experiment was weighed and recorded. This was followed by carefully putting the cleaned egg into a clean cup and weighing determined. Mass of egg alone was calculated and recorded. The cup was then filled with three-quarters of distilled water, which is a hypotonic solution, and left for 40 minutes. After 40 minutes, water was carefully poured out and the weight of the egg plus the cup was determined.

Next, a clean cup with an egg was filled with corn syrup (hypertonic solution) until the egg was completely coved and left for 40 minutes. Again, the solution was carefully poured out, and the weight of a cup with an egg in it was determined and recorded.

Results

Width(cm) Length(cm) Mass(grams) Quantitive data
Original Egg before soaking 12 16 53.3 The egg is white, texture is smooth, and has no smell
After soaking in vinegar 15 18.5 69.9 White in color, smells like vinegar, feels smooth, and has a lot of foam around its shell.
After soaking in corn syrup 12 16 47.5 White in color, the shell is thin, smells like sugar, and feels squishy or spongy
After soaking in distilled water 14 18 69.9 The egg is transparent with some yellow showings, no smell, the egg is swollen and shows signs of disintegration. The texture is squishy and wet.

Discussion

From the results, we see that the mass of the egg increased when it was soaked in vinegar. This is because vinegar has a higher concentration of water as compared to the egg and therefore through osmosis, water moved from a highly concentrated area (vinegar) into the egg which has a lower concentration of water molecules. This made the egg increase in weight from 53.3g to 69.9g, length from 16cm to 18.5cm, and width from 12cm to 15cm.

On the other hand, we discovered that corn syrup is less concentrated with water molecules and therefore through osmosis, water molecules moved across the membrane from the egg into corn syrup thereby leading to a decrease in weight and size of the egg as seen from the table. Finally, when the egg is immersed in distilled water, there is an increase in the size and weight of the egg. This is a clear indication that through osmosis, water molecules moved from the highly concentrated area into the egg, which was less concentrated in terms of water molecules.

Conclusion

Water molecules shifted from regions of the high gradient to regions of less gradient. For example, when the egg was placed in corn syrup, water moved out of the egg thereby reducing the weight of the egg. The reverse is true for distilled water. In conclusion, the objective of the experiment was met since the process of osmosis was examined.

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Reference

Magloire, Kim. Cracking AP biology exam. New York, NY: Random House, 2004.

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