Sorption vs adsorption: the words they are a-changin', not the phenomena

Olivier Pourret*, Jean-Claude Bollinger, Andrew Hursthouse, Eric D. van Hullebusch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


In this discussion, we highlight that the terms sorption and adsorption are often confused and misused in many articles. Even if one thought their formal definition is well known, this does not appear to be the case. We recommend encouragement to adopt the word adsorption only when fully supported by appropriate data and using the sorption terminology when it is more speculative, typically in complex solid/fluid natural systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number156545
Number of pages2
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue numberPart 3
Early online date6 Jun 2022
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sept 2022


  • sorption
  • adsorption
  • absorption
  • biosorption


Dive into the research topics of 'Sorption vs adsorption: the words they are a-changin', not the phenomena'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this