ABSORPTION definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary

What is absorption

Read this tutorial to become familiar with the different cell structures and their functions… It delves into the development of plant roots, the root structure, and the major regions of a plant root. It also talks about the different forms of roots that have specialized functions. Not only do these structures maximize the absorptive surface area of the intestinal epithelium but they also contribute tremendously to the efficient absorption process. The following video illustrates the differences and some common applications of adsorption and absorption.

  1. In absorption, energy from the absorbate is then added to the energy of the absorbent system, which increases the energy of this system.
  2. The diagram shows a beam of waves passing from right to left through a series of layers (d1, d2, and d3) of a medium.
  3. Without proper absorption of the reconstituted substrate molecules, digestion may be futile in the human body.
  4. During absorption, the molecules are entirely dissolved or diffused in the absorbent to form a solution.

Adsorption is a surface-based process where a film of adsorbate is created on the surface while absorption involves the entire volume of the absorbing substance. Absorption is a chemical or physical phenomenon in which the molecules, atoms and ions of the substance getting absorbed enters into the bulk phase (gas, liquid or solid) of the material in which it is taken up. Absorption is the condition in which something gets mixed or absorbed completely in another substance. As radiation passes through matter, it is absorbed to an extent depending on the nature of the substance and its thickness.

Plants and animals need elements, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium for proper growth and development. Certain chemicals though can halt growth, e.g. herbicides in plants, or affect normal physiological activities, e.g. alcohol. For more info, read this tutorial on the effects of chemicals on plants and animals… Some of the most important molecules (monomers) that are absorbed by different mechanisms are compiled in the table below. Absorption can be defined as the process of assimilating substances across the intestinal epithelial cells or the tissues and organs through the process of active or passive transport. This can be facilitated through diffusion or osmosis and always follows the digestion process and never precedes it.

Find out more about these processes carried out by the gastrointestinal system through this tutorial… Hydrophilic solids, which include many solids of biological origin, can readily absorb water. Polar interactions between water and the molecules of the solid favor partition of the water into the solid, which can allow significant absorption of water vapor even in relatively low humidity. Plant processes, such as photosynthesis, photophosphorylation, chemiosmosis, carbon fixing reactions, respiration, are presented in this tutorial… This process occurs across the mucosa of the intestine via the epithelial cells’ barrier that constitutes it.


No, what follows next is absorption and one of the most crucial steps in the acquisition of energy for the body. Without proper absorption of the reconstituted substrate molecules, digestion may be futile in the human body. This underpins the importance of absorption (also called the assimilation process).

What is absorption

The process of gas absorption by a liquid is used in hydrogenation of oils and carbonation of beverages. Absorption is a process that may be chemical (reactive) or physical (non-reactive). Adsorption is generally classified into physisorption (weak van der Waals forces) and chemisorption (covalent bonding). The molecules are held loosely on the surface of the adsorbent and can be easily removed. It is not intended to provide medical, legal, or any other professional advice. Any information here should not be considered absolutely correct, complete, and up-to-date.

Electrons are lost from the anodic area and absorbed into ions at the cathodic area. Whereas with the use of aqueous sodium hydroxide or any other strong base as a absorbent to dissolve an acid gas, the absorption reaction is followed by a rapid and irreversible neutralization reaction in the liquid phase. Such a process can be referred to as chemical absorption or reactive absorption. The temperature at which an absorption process might occur does not affect the speed or product of the process. In the absorption process, a substance captures and transforms energy, which can cause metals to corrode.

Comments: Absorption vs Adsorption

In absorption, energy from the absorbate is then added to the energy of the absorbent system, which increases the energy of this system. The process of absorption occurs and continues at a uniform rate throughout until all absorbate has been dissolved in the absorbent. After which the concentration of the absorbate in the absorbent is uniform. The gastrointestinal system breaks down particles of ingested food into molecular forms by enzymes through digestion and then transferred to the internal environment by absorption.

What is absorption

Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Biology Online, its staff, or its partners. The kidneys are responsible for the regulation of water and inorganic ions. Read this tutorial to learn about the different parts of the kidneys and its role in homeostasis… Contrary to common belief, small intestines are highly modified cylindrical tubes.

More meanings of absorption

Therefore, in acidic environments corrosion of metal takes place because of oxidation and other reductions. The oxidation reactions occur at the anode where the metal loses its electrons to the environment and becomes absorbed in the solution in the form of positive ions to the cathode. In chemistry, absorption is a physical or chemical phenomenon or a process in which atoms, molecules or ions enter some bulk phase – liquid or solid material. This is a different process from adsorption, since molecules undergoing absorption are taken up by the volume, not by the surface (as in the case for adsorption). Absorption is the process in which a fluid is dissolved by a liquid or a solid (absorbent). Adsorption is the process in which atoms, ions or molecules from a substance (it could be gas, liquid or dissolved solid) adhere to a surface of the adsorbent.

Further Reading

Thus, for radiation of a given wavelength, an infinitesimally thin layer will reduce the energy of a wave by a fractional amount that is proportional to the thickness of the layer. The change in energy as the wave passes through a layer is a constant of the material for a given wavelength and is called its absorption coefficient. The process of absorption means that a substance captures and transforms energy.

The absorbent distributes the material it captures evenly through the surface. Processes involving gas or liquid that penetrates into the body of an absorbent are commonly known as absorption. Whether they are to be considered physical absorption or chemical absorption, depends on if there is any chemical reaction occurring between the solute and the solvent which is also called the absorbent.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *