Environmental Enlightenment #116

By Ami Adini - Reissued December 1, 2015

This is a SHORT, LIGHT and SIMPLE newsletter. Its purpose is to rekindle in the initiated terminology they have once learned, and enlighten the uninitiated on terms they may have heard but never known the meaning of.

Is It Absorption? Adsorption?

The words are similar but represent different phenomena.

Absorption is the penetration of a substance into or through another, e.g., water in a sponge.

Adsorption is a surface phenomenon by which matter (usually, molecules of liquids or gases) is extracted from one medium and concentrated on the surface of another (usually, a solid surface). Activated carbon is commonly used in tap water filters to adsorb dissolved organic matter, chlorine and other contaminants.

If you spill gasoline on soil, it will readily be absorbed. The process, however, by which the soil particles retain the gasoline is adsorption: gasoline molecules adhere to the surface of the soil grains.


Click here for additional information on adsorption.

You can find past issues of our  "Environmental Enlightenment" at amiadini.com Wealth of information about environmental site assessments in the real estate transactions and issues concerning assessment and cleanup of contamination in the subsurface soil and groundwater.

Call me if you have any questions. There are no obligations.

Ami Adini
Ami Adini & Associates, Inc.
Environmental Consultants
Underground Storage Tank Experts
818-824-8102; mail@amiadini.com

Ami Adini is a mechanical engineer, California Registered Environmental Assessor, Level II (Exp.), and president of AMI ADINI & ASSOCIATES, INC. (AA&A), an environmental consulting firm specializing in all phases of environmental site assessments and rehabilitation of contaminated sites. AA&A specializes in practical solutions to environmental concerns using the highest standards of ethics and integrity while providing its clients with maximum return on their investments.