6 Difference Between Imbibition And Osmosis

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What Is Imbibition?

Imbibition is the process of adsorption of water by substances without forming a solution. The swelling of soaked seeds, the swelling of a wooden door during rains, germination of seeds, and absorption of water by roots are some of the examples of imbibition. Imbibition is the initial step in seed germination, If it were not for the pressure due to Imbibition, seedlings would not be able to emerge from soil.

Some of the factors affecting imbibition include:

  • Pressure
  • The affinity of the imbibant for the imbibate.
  • PH of a medium
  • The texture of an imbibant

What You Need To Know About Imbibition

  • It involves the absorption of solvent or water by a solid substance.
  • A semi-permeable membrane does not form part of Imbibition process.
  • Imbibition develops a very high pressure (up to 1000 atm) referred to as imbibition pressure.  
  • Imbibition requires the presence of colloidal particles.
  • Imbibition process generates energy in the form of heat.
  • Imbibition does require a semi-permeable membrane.

What Is Osmosis?

Osmosis is a process by which molecules of a solvent pass through a semi-permeable membrane from a less concentrated solution into a more concentrated one. It involves the movement of molecules from a region of higher concentration to lower concentration until the concentrations become equal on either side of the membrane. The movement of osmosis is affected by the concentration gradient, the lower the concentration of the solute within a solvent, the faster osmosis will occur in that solvent.

Osmosis is responsible for the absorption of water from the soil and conducting it to the upper parts of the plant through the xylem. It also stabilizes the internal environment of a living organism by maintaining the balance between water and intercellular fluid levels.

What You Need To Know About Osmosis

  • It involves the movement of water or solvent from higher chemical potential region to a lower chemical potential region.
  • A semi-permeable membrane is necessary for the process of osmosis.
  • Osmosis develops a relatively lower pressure (up to 100 atm) referred to as osmotic pressure.
  • Osmosis often requires the presence of solute particles.
  • There is no production of energy in the form of heat.
  • Osmosis is only possible in solutions that can be separated by a semi-permeable membrane.

Also Read: Difference Between Imbibition And Diffusion

Difference Between Imbibition And Osmosis In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON IMBIBITION OSMOSIS
Description It involves the absorption of solvent or water by a solid substance.   It involves the movement of water or solvent from higher chemical potential region to a lower chemical potential region.  
Process Requirement A semi-permeable membrane does not form part of Imbibition process.   A semi-permeable membrane is necessary for the process of osmosis.  
Pressure Imbibition develops a very high pressure (up to 1000 atm) referred to as imbibition pressure.    Osmosis develops a relatively lower pressure (up to 100 atm) referred to as osmotic pressure.  
Presence Of Colloidal Particles Imbibition requires the presence of colloidal particles.   Osmosis often requires the presence of solute particles.  
Generation Of Energy Imbibition process generates energy in the form of heat.   There is no production of energy in the form of heat.  
Semi-permeable membrane Imbibition does require a semi-permeable membrane.   Osmosis is only possible in solutions that can be separated by a semi-permeable membrane.