Can you explain how osmosis works? So I did this project about how different liquids affect osmosis.There are a couple things that happen that I don't have answers to.  The weights of the egg...

Can you explain how osmosis works? So I did this project about how different liquids affect osmosis.There are a couple things that happen that I don't have answers to. 

The weights of the egg before and after they were place in their liquids 

Egg 1- 84g/ 90g (Water)

Egg 2 - 82g/ 86g (Orange juice) 

Egg 3 - 88g/ 91g (coke)

Egg 4- 82g/ 80g (wine) 

1) I know cells are really picky about what it lets in other than water. I thought for sure the results will be all hypertonic solution since there were less free water molecules outside the cell but its the opposite for most of them. Can you give me an explanation of why hypotonic solution happens and why does the egg in the wine is different from the rest of the eggs?  

2) Why does color affect osmosis? So I have four eggs in different liquids. The egg in orange juice has a yellowish color, the one in coke is brown, and the one in wine is black. For egg 1,2, and 3 its color is understandable since its hypotonic solution but I don't understand for Egg 4 since its hypertonic solution, the liquid did not go inside. Please explain the reason.

Thank you so much this will help with the confusion in my project. 

Asked on by Angie A.

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justaguide | College Teacher | (Level 2) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

If two solutions are separated by a semi-permeable membrane, the solution that has a larger concentration of solutes that cannot cross the membrane is said to be hypertonic and the other is said to be hypotonic.

To study osmosis using an egg, you initially have to eliminate the outer hard shell that is made of calcium carbonate. This can be done by immersing the egg in a mild acidic solution like vinegar, which has acetic acid. Once the outer shell has dissolved the egg is covered by a thin semi-permeable membrane.

You placed the eggs in different liquids that included water, orange juice, coke and wine.

In cases where the mass of the egg increased, the concentration of solutes in the liquid the egg was placed in was less than that of the concentration of solutes in the liquid within the egg. Note that the concentration that matters is only on solutes that cannot cross the semi-permeable membrane.

When the egg was placed in water, its mass increased by approximately 7%. When the egg was placed in orange juice its mass increased by approximately 5%. In coke, the increase in mass was around 3.4% and when the egg was placed in wine its mass decreased by close to 2.4%.

From the observations one can conclude that orange juice and coke have a different concentration of solutes with coke having a higher concentration than orange juice. It should be kept in mind that the liquid inside the egg is not 100% water, it also has dissolved solutes and the change in mass is dependent on the relative concentration of solutes in the liquid as well as that in the liquid within the egg. Wine, in addition to other solutes also has alcohol. This could be the reason why the mass of the egg soaked in wine decreased.

As for the change in color of the eggs, what actually makes a difference is the compounds in the liquid that provide its distinctive color. The substance responsible for the color has a very low concentration and even a small quantity of it entering the egg can make the egg's color totally different.

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