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Osmotic Pressure within pressure vessel

  1. Nov 5, 2014 #1
    Hi could someone point me in the right direction about the following scenario
    A high pressure vessel is 100% filled with an incompressible liquid
    A membrane separates two sides with differing concentrations one (one may be zero) of an impermeable solute.


    What would occur ?
    My feeling is that there would be no flux as there would not be 'volume' ability for it to occur
    Any net fux would create an immediate pressure differential greater than the osmotic pressure. Is this correct.
    I don't even think that it matters how strong the membrane is as it would be supported on all sides by the incompressible fluid?
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 6, 2014 #2

    Andy Resnick

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    It depends on what the membrane is- there is osmotic pressure driving solvent across the membrane, equivalent to a hydrostatic pressure- so the membrane could rupture. This happens with living cells lacking a rigid cell wall placed in a hypotonic solution: water enters the cell, swelling the cell and bursting the membrane.
  4. Nov 9, 2014 #3
    Thanks for that, going for the Biology analogy we are talking about a turgid system , the rigid membrane disallows the flux and pressure change.
    So if the volume cannot increase how does the energy get transferred ?
  5. Nov 10, 2014 #4

    Andy Resnick

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    I don't understand your question- for example, plant cells have a rigid cell wall and can withstand an osmotic pressure jump. What do you mean by 'energy get transferred?'
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2014
  6. Nov 10, 2014 #5
    The pressure on the pure side would have to be higher than the pressure on the concentration side by the osmotic pressure in order for no flow to occur. No fluid is completely incompressible, so for a compressible fluid case, if the pressure difference was not just right, some small amount of flow would occur. However, in the limit of incompressibility, any infinitecimal amout of flow would be sufficient to establish the pressure balance.

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