Help with the effect of Sodium Hydroxide and seed germination.

Paul Koch pkoch at
Thu Nov 14 20:10:28 EST 1996

I have been investigating seed's cellular resperation by doing a lab that 
required putting germinating seeds in the bottom of a test tube.  Then a 
layer of cotton was put on top of that.  On top of this, I put a thin 
layer of Sodium Hydroxide and then another layer of cotton.  I put this 
test tube upside down in a beaker of water and let it sit over night.  The 
next day I found that the amount of air in the test tube had greatly 
decreased.  I also found that the layer of Sodium Hydroxide had 
disappeared.  I know that a germinating seed takes in oxygen to preform 
areobic resperation and as a byproduct of this, Carbon Dioxide is 
produced.  But, where did the carbon dioxide go and where did the sodium 
hydroxide go?  Why didn't the carbon dioxide take up the same amount of 
space as the air the seed took in?  I would appreciate it if you could 
answer these questions and maybe go further in depth into these processes.

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