The Effect of Temperature on Diffusion Across a Semi-Permeable Membrane

Gage Calhoon, Addy Brongo, Rachel Beam, Kaytlyn Goodwin


Rate of chemical diffusion is directly related to molecular mass, chemical concentration, and temperature; these factors all must be accounted for when developing artificial cellular membrane for biological use (Hoefnagels, 2014). Desiring to determine the extent to which heat affects the rate of diffusion when involving an artificial membrane, thermal energy was applied to one solution submerged in no thermal energy was applied to the other. Finding both the difference in diffusion rate between NaCl and Glucose and the result of these diffusion rates when heat is added, the experiment provided answers for designing man-made cellular membranes that may allow a regulated amount of diffusion that suites the needs of an organism. Filling 4 separate dialysis tubing segments, 2 with solutions of glucose and 2 with solutions of NaCl solutions, the experiment efficiently detected the variation of diffusion caused by both differing molecule size and thermal energy. The results of this experimentation will aid in stepping forward in the race to create more life-like artificial cells, for their membranes may be designed to better resemble the rates of diffusion of organic cells (French, 2014).

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