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

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(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


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