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Transport: 8. A comparison table of diffusion, osmosis and active transport characteristics

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INDEX of notes: Transport in organisms


(8) A comparison table of diffusion, osmosis and active transport characteristics

Mode of transfer Substances being moved Situation conditions Requirements Energy required?
Diffusion Any soluble substance - dissolved gas, liquid or solid From a higher to a lower concentration Transfer of substances down a concentration gradient No energy needed
Osmosis Water From a dilute solution to a more concentrated solution Water passing through a partially permeable membrane No energy needed
Active transport Any dissolved substance Transferring a substance from a lower concentration to a higher concentration Moving substances against a natural diffusion concentration gradient through a partially permeable membrane Uses protein carrier molecules and energy needed from ATP  - respiration in the mitochondria

Phrasing: In the context of diffusion - from a higher to a lower concentration means transfer from ...

(i) a more concentrated solution to a more dilute solution,

or (ii) a higher/greater level/concentration of a gas to a lower/smaller level/concentration


Keywords, phrases and learning objectives for this part on transport in organisms

Be able to compare, contrast and describe what the scientific terms diffusion, osmosis and active transport mean when used in biology.


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