Difference Between Osmosis and Diffusion

Both osmosis and diffusion are examples of passive transportation wherein energy does not need to be exerted to produce an effect. Both are also a means to make the concentration of two solutions equal. Here, we will discuss how osmosis and diffusion differ from each other.

Osmosis

Osmosis is the process where liquid moves from a higher region of concentration to a lower region of concentration through a semipermeable membrane. Usually, the solvent or liquid involved in this process is water. Osmosis is an essential process that helps animals transport nutrients and maintain water on a cellular level, as well as help plants absorb water from the soil.

Diffusion

Diffusion is the movement of particles from a higher region to a lower region of concentration. These particles can be solid, liquid, or gas. Unlike osmosis, particles do not move through a semipermeable membrane. It is a faster process than osmosis, which is quite slow. Diffusion is important because it allows processes like exchange of gases when animals respire or assists in transpiration and photosynthesis for plants.

Comparison Board

Osmosis
Diffusion
Definition The process where liquid moves from a higher region of concentration to a lower region of concentration through a semipermeable membrane The movement of particles from a higher region to a lower region of concentration
Medium Liquid Solid, liquid, or gas
Semipermeable membrane Through the membrane Does not need the membrane
Affecting factors Temperature, diffusion distance, concentration gradient Temperature, concentration gradient, pressure, molecular weight
Importance Helps animals in transporting nutrients and maintaining water on cellular levels; provides support for plants and absorbing water from the soil Helps animals’ respiration and transpiration and photosynthesis for plants
Examples Soaking something in water, root pressure, wrinkled fingers from excessive exposure to water Spraying perfume or freshener, cigarette smoke scattering in the air, dunking a tea bag in water

 

Venn Diagram