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Osmotic Pressure and Effects of Solute on Osmotic Pressure

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The pressure, which is applied to solvent molecules from a dilute solution to a concentrated solution using a semi-permeable membrane to stop flow of solvent molecules is termed as osmotic pressure. There are certain factors that require proper understanding to understand the effect of osmotic pressure over a solvent.

The semi-permeable membrane allows movement of particles through it selectively. There are instances where we get to see raw mangoes getting shriveled if it is pickled in salty water, blood cells when exposed in saline water start collapsing. These are the factors that occur due to osmotic pressure on these substances when exposed to water. This is observed that a separate diluted solution from a concentrated solution, which is similar in nature, the solvent molecules flowing from the diluted solution to the concentrated solution differentiated by a similar type of membrane. The movement of particles occur up to the point equilibrium is reached, the process through which the flow of solvent molecules in accordance with the difference in concentration is termed as osmosis. This flow of solvent molecules can be stopped by the membrane through application of external pressure, this is basically the pressure which stops the flow of solvent molecules is osmotic pressure .

Osmotic pressure is colligative in nature, which means that it is dependent on the concentration of the solution and not on the quanity of solute present in the solvent. This can be said in a different way that osmotic pressure is the extra exerted external pressure, which is applied to prevent the occurrence of osmosis. Osmotic pressure is directly proportional to the molarity at a given temperature of a solution. Solutions that have similar osmotic pressure for a specified temperature are called isotonic solutions.

is separated using a membrane, which is selectively permeable. Molecules of solvent go through this semi permeable membrane from a solution of low concentration to a solution of higher concentration.

There is a quantitative relation between solute concentration and osmotic pressure given by Jacobus van ‘t Hoff that is expressed as π = iCRT. π is the osmotic pressure, C is taken as the molar concentration of a solute and i is the dimensionless van ‘t hoff index, r is the ideal gas index and T is the temperature of the solvent in Kelvins. This is applied when the concentration of solute is low, so that the solution is treated as an ideal solution.

Osmosis is the flow of solvent molecules by a semipermeable membrane from higher concentration solution to lower concentration solution. This must be kept in mind that higher the concentration of solvent implies that the concentration of solute is lower. The movement of particles always occur from high concentration solution to lower concentration of solution. The pores, which are present in the semi-permeable membrane are quite large to accommodate molecules of solvent (mostly water) for passing through it, but it is smaller to stop the passage of solute molecules (ions, sugar). The solute molecules that are present on one side of the semi permeable membrane makes less water molecules on solute side to approach this membrane from the other side, which means that the water will flow in the direction of the solute much faster than flowing away from it. For example, if a sugar solution that is placed inside a bag or container, which is then placed in a pure water solution, due to the effect of osmosis the bag or the container in which the solution is placed will enlarge due to flowing of water inside the bag.

The process of osmosis can be prevented on application of external pressure to the solution (not only to the solvent), by the side of the membrane where it is required to prevent osmosis is osmotic pressure. Dilute solutions has relation to the osmotic pressure where the concentration of a solution is measured by the concentration of solute using a equation, which is P = cRT wher R is the ideal gas constant having a value of 0.08206 l. atm /mol .k, T is temperature in Kelvin and c is the concentration in molarity. This is similar to the ideal gas equation with certain miniscule changes. The concentration of solution is dependent on the concentration of solvent and the concentration of solute, however for calculating molar pressure, concentration of solute is not taken under consideration unless the solution is diluted where the concentration of solute is taken under consideration for calculating osmotic pressure of a solution. Osmotic pressure is an externally applied pressure to prevent osmosis and the concentration of solvent is considered to calculate osmotic pressure generally.

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