Diffusion and Osmosis

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Diffusion of Ammonium hydroxide with red litmus paper

Definition of diffusion

1. Diffusion is the process in which particles move from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration in order to evenly spread out.

2 Diagram.

3. During the diffusion tube experiment I noted that firstly ammonium hydroxide was placed on to a piece of cotton wool. The cotton wool (with the ammonium hydroxide) was then placed in to a diffusion tube containing around 10 pieces of curled red litmus paper lined up from one end of the diffusion tube to the other. I had observed the diffusion tube carefully when approximately a minute later I noticed the first litmus paper had changed colour from pink to blue. About five minutes later the second red litmus paper in line had also changed from pink to blue. Two days later the entire tube had changed colour from pink to blue, thus proving that diffusion had occurred.

4. Using my knowledge of diffusion I can easily state that the change of colour the red litmus paper had (from pink to blue) occurred through the act of diffusion. This was due to the fact that there was a high concentration of ammonium hydroxide on the cotton wool, yet a low concentration of ammonium hydroxide on to the red litmus paper. The ammonium hydroxide particles (on the cotton wool) had moved through a concentration gradient, from an area of high concentration (the cotton wool containing ammonium hydroxide) to an area of low concentration (the red litmus paper.) Eventually all the red litmus paper had changed colour showing that all their particles had become evenly concentrated with the ammonium hydroxide.

5. In my opinion if a higher concentration of ammonium hydroxide had been used then the process of diffusion would have occurred faster. I predict that because, there would have been a higher concentration of ammonium hydroxide on to the cotton wool which means that there would have been an increase of ammonium hydroxide particles and the more particles there are then the more there would be to penetrate the red litmus paper thus speeding up the act of diffusion.

b. If the experiment would have been done at a higher temperature I believe that the process of diffusion would have been a lot faster. I base that view on the theory that at a higher temperature particles move faster and therefore would most likely escape the concentration of ammonium hydroxide faster and spread throughout the diffusion tube at a faster rate.

6. If the ammonia would have been left in the tube for 24 hours then the concentration of ammonia hydroxide would have been evenly spread inside. This would have occurred because the ammonium hydroxide particles would have had the necessary time to diffuse onto the red litmus paper. This would be visible by seeing that all the red litmus papers changed colour from pink to blue.

7.1. Diffusion occurs in a single celled organism that lives in the water called an Amoeba. The level of oxygen inside the water is high yet the level of oxygen inside the amoeba is low. Whenever the Amoeba breathes in it inhales the oxygen from the water, in which case the oxygen goes from an area of high concentration (the water) to an area of low concentration (the amoeba).As the amoeba breathes in the oxygen it creates carbon dioxide as a by product to the oxygen it takes in, therefore the amoeba contains high concentration of carbon dioxide. In that case the carbon dioxide diffuses from an area of high concentration (the amoeba) to an area of low concentration (the water).

7.2. Animals need oxygen to live and the way the oxygen gets transported throughout their bodies is diffusion. After inhaling oxygen the animal's lungs carry a high concentration of oxygen yet the animal's organs contain a low concentration of oxygen. The oxygen from the lungs then travel from an area of high concentration (the lungs) to an area of low concentration (the organs). After inhaling oxygen the animals...
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