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 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 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.
|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|