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Osmosis

Osmotic Pressure

As osmosis proceeds, pressure builds up on the side of the membrane where volume has increased. Ultimately, the pressure prevents more water from entering, so osmosis stops. The osmotic pressure of a solution is the pressure needed to prevent osmosis into the solution. It is measured in comparison with pure solvent. The osmotic pressure is directly related to the different heights of the liquid on either side of the membrane when no more change in volume occurs. Osmotic pressure depends on the temperature and the original concentration of solute. Interestingly, it does not depend on what is dissolved. Two solutions of different solutes, for example alcohol and sugar, will each have the same osmotic pressure, provided they have the same concentration. Osmotic pressure is therefore a colligative property of solutions, one which depends only on the concentration of dissolved particles, not on their chemical identity.


Additional topics

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