What Is Osmosis?

Osmosis can be described as a passive process that does not require any energy expenditure. It is the movement of molecules from one region of higher concentration into another until they reach equal concentrations on both sides of the membrane.

Any solvent, including supercritical liquids and gases, can undergo osmosis.

Let’s take a closer look at the various types and effects that osmosis can have.

Also refer to There is a difference between diffusion and osmosis

Osmotic Solutions

There are three types of solutions available:

  • Isotonic Solution
  • Hypertonic Solution
  • Hypotonic Solution

An Isotonic solution one that contains the same amount of solutes inside and outside of the cell.

A Hypertonic solution that has a higher concentration of solute outside than inside a cell.

A Hypotonic solution one with a higher solute content inside the cell than the outside.

Different Types Of Osmosis

There are two types of osmosis:

  • EndosmosisHypotonic solutions can cause a substance to become turgid, or undergo deplasmolysis. This process is called endosmosis.
  • Exosmosis- A substance placed in a hypertonic liquid causes the solvent molecules to move out of the cell, causing the cell to become flaccid or undergo plasmolysis. This process is called exosmosis.

Osmosis and Cells

Different cells are affected by osmosis. A hypotonic solution will cause an animal cell to lyse, but not a plant cell. Plant cells have thick walls that require more water. Hypotonic solutions will not cause the cells to burst. A hypotonic solution is actually ideal for plant cells.

Only an isotonic solution can sustain animal cells. An isotonic solution makes the plant cells turgid, and the leaves droop.

You can stop or reverse the osmotic flow by applying pressure to the sides and sides of the solvent. The osmotic force is the minimum pressure necessary to stop the solvent transfer.

Osmosis Is Important

  • Osmosis has an influence on the movement of nutrients and the removal of metabolic waste products.
  • It absorbs water from the soil and conducts it to the top of the plant via the xylem.
  • It stabilizes the internal environment of a living organism, maintaining the equilibrium between water and intercellular fluid.
  • It preserves the turgidity and cells.
  • It’s a way for plants to retain their water content, despite constant water loss from transpiration.
  • This is how water diffuses from one cell to another.
  • Osmosis causes cell turgor, which regulates the movement of plant parts and plants.
  • Osmosis also regulates dehiscence and sporangia.
  • Plants are protected from drought injury by higher osmotic pressure.

Osmosis Examples

Osmosis plays a vital role in the lives of plants, animals, and humans. Osmosis is an important part of the human body. Animal cell osmosis is a method of absorbing water from the intestines into the blood.

Below are additional examples of Osmosis.

  • Osmosis is responsible for water absorption from the soil. Because the plant roots are more concentrated than the soil, water flows into them.
  • Osmosis can also affect the guard cells of plants. The plant cells become swollen when they are filled with water.
  • Fish that are either saltwater or freshwater fish will die if they are placed in water with different salt concentrations.
  • Osmosis can also affect cholera patients. Overpopulation of bacteria in the intestines causes a reverse flow of absorption. This results in water not being absorbed by the intestinal tract, leading to dehydration.
  • The cells in the cells become more watery when the fingers are immersed in water for longer periods of time.

This post was written by a water treatment expert at Paragon Water Systems. At Paragon Water Systems we are reverse osmosis systems suppliers! We know that the best product comes from the best materials. We manufacture home water solutions such as reverse osmosis systems, under sink water filtration systems, showerhead filtration systems, carbon cartridges, and a wide variety of other products. Our focus is to provide Americans with safe and clean water throughout the home.