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Industrial Adsorbents

By Chemical Engineering |

Industrially, adsorbent materials are used in a wide range of applications, including purification, separations, drying, spill management, catalysis, pollution control and others across a large number of industrial sectors. This column provides an overview of the major classes of industrial adsorbents, and some of the specific adsorbent types in each category. Adsorption processes Adsorption refers to the surface-based process in which molecules, ions or atoms accumulate on the surface of a material. Adsorption is driven generally by the reduction in surface tension between the fluid (liquid or gas) and the solid adsorbent that results when the adsorbate molecule adheres to the surface of the adsorbent. Adsorption differs from absorption in that adsorption describes accumulation of molecules at the interface between the solid and fluid phases, while absorption involves one substance entering the bulk or volume of another. Classification Adsorbents can be classified according to their structures, as well as according to their behavior toward water. Zeolites are examples of adsorbents with crystalline structure, while activated carbon and polymers have amorphous structure. Silica gel and activated alumina are also considered to have…
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