sorbent otherwise absorbent; adsorbent (rus. сорбент otherwise абсорбент; адсорбент) — (From Latin sorbeo meaning "absorb") – a solid body or a liquid that selectively absorb from the environment gases, vapors and dissolved substances.


Depending on the nature of sorption, there is a distinction between absorbents (bodies forming with absorbed substances solid or liquid solution) adsorbents (bodies concentrating adsorbed substances on their surface) and chemical sorbents that bind absorbed substance by means of chemical interaction. A separate group is ion-exchange sorbents (ion exchangers) which absorb from solutions ions of one type with the release of an equivalent amount of ions of another type. The most widespread solid sorbents are activated carbon, silica, alumina, zeolites, ion-exchange resins. Typically, to ensure efficient adsorption solid adsorbents must have high values of specific surface area for which purpose sorbents' structure should contain micro- and mesopores (see nanopores). Apart from a high affinity to the mixture component that has to be adsorbed, selectivity of adsorption from mixtures of different substances can be provided with the molecular sieve effect.


  • Smirnov Andrey V.
  • Tolkachev Nikolay N.


  1. Persorption // Chemical encyclopedia (in Russian). V. 4. — Moscow: The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 1988. P. 770.