Concept

Adsorption

Summary
Adsorption is the adhesion of atoms, ions or molecules from a gas, liquid or dissolved solid to a surface. This process creates a film of the adsorbate on the surface of the adsorbent. This process differs from absorption, in which a fluid (the absorbate) is dissolved by or permeates a liquid or solid (the absorbent). Adsorption is a surface phenomenon and the adsorbate does not penetrate through the surface and into the bulk of the adsorbent, while absorption involves transfer of the absorbate into the volume of the material, although adsorption does often precede absorption. The term sorption encompasses both adsorption and absorption, and desorption is the reverse of sorption. Like surface tension, adsorption is a consequence of surface energy. In a bulk material, all the bonding requirements (be they ionic, covalent or metallic) of the constituent atoms of the material are fulfilled by other atoms in the material. However, atoms on the surface of the adsorbent are not wholly
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