Table of Contents
What is Absorption?
Absorption is the phenomenon of taking a substance by another substance into its bulk. The acceptance of molecules, ions, or atoms by another substance into its bulk can be called absorption. This is a bulk phenomenon and requires heat energy for processing. The requirement of heat for the process makes absorption an endothermic process. In the continuation of the process, a new substance may be formed as a result of a reaction between the components.
Absorption has two main components namely, the absorbent and the absorbate. The absorbent is the substance having spaces or voids in them which helps them to take up another substance into its bulk. The absorbate is the substance being absorbed. It gets absorbed and occupies the spaces or voids present in the absorbent. They can interact physically or via a chemical reaction i.e. chemically. This is an irreversible process and cannot be separated easily.
Absorption types: Chemical Absorption and Physical Absorption.
Chemical Absorption takes place when the absorbate and absorbent react chemically i.e. a chemical reaction happens between them. Chemical absorption is concentration-dependent and dependents directly on the concentration of reactants. Physical absorption takes place according to Henry’s Law. Physical absorption is a non-reactive process and depends upon the physical properties of the absorbate.
What is Adsorption?
Adsorption is a phenomenon of attachment of a substance to the surface of another substance. The acceptance of molecules, ions, or atoms by another substance on its surface can be called adsorption. This is a surface phenomenon and liberates energy during the process. The liberation of energy for the process makes adsorption an exothermic process. Adsorption directly depends on the concentration of the adsorbate being adsorbed.
Adsorption has two main components namely, the adsorbent and the adsorbate. The adsorbent is the substance that offers its surface for other substances to adhere to it and get adsorbed. The adsorbate is the substance being adhered to a surface. They can interact physically or via a chemical reaction i.e. chemically. This is a reversible process and can be separated easily, the separation process is called desorption.
Adsorption types: Chemical Adsorption and Physical Adsorption.
Chemical Adsorption or Chemisorption takes place when the adsorbate and adsorbent react chemically i.e. a chemical reaction happens between them. One of the common examples of chemisorption is corrosion. Physical adsorption or Physisorption takes place when the adsorbate and adsorbent develop weak forces such as Vander Waal forces between them. Examples- Adsorption of gases onto the surface of the charcoal.
Difference Between Absorption and Adsorption
- Absorption is where one substance enters into the bulk of another substance while adsorption is a phenomenon where one substance adheres to the surface of the other substance.
- Absorption is a bulk phenomenon whereas adsorption is a surface phenomenon.
- Absorption is an endothermic reaction i.e. requires energy while adsorption is an exothermic reaction.
- Adsorption works great in lower temperature conditions whereas temperature does not affect absorption.
- Adsorption is concentration-dependent whereas absorption is not.
- Absorption has a uniform rate of reaction while in the case of adsorption the initial rate of reaction increases and slowly reaches equilibrium.
Comparison Between Absorption and Adsorption
|Parameters of Comparison||Absorption||Adsorption|
|Meaning||One substance enters into the bulk of another substance.||One substance adheres to the surface of the other substance.|
|Phenomenon||Bulk phenomenon||Surface phenomenon|
|Reaction||Endothermic reaction||Exothermic reaction|
|Temperature co-relation||Not related||Works great in lower temperature conditions|
|Rate of reaction||Uniform rate of reaction||Initially, the rate of reaction increases and reaches equilibrium.|
|Examples||Paper soaked in water, sponge soaked in any liquid.||Charcoal in a gas mask, Salts in a desiccator.|
|Application||Production of ice, cold storage, etc.||Purification of water, Air conditioning, etc.|