Absorption: A Key Process in Chemistry and Biology

AbsorptionA Key Process in Chemistry and Biology

Absorption, defined as the process by which substances are taken in by other materials, is a fundamental occurrence encountered both in scientific exploration and our daily lives. It plays a vital role in determining how substances interact with various materials.

This process can be categorised into two main types: chemical and physical absorption. Chemical absorption involves intricate reactions between substances and absorbers, while physical absorption relies on straightforward physical phenomena.

Understanding these distinct types of absorption is crucial for comprehending how they impact a wide range of phenomena, from industrial processes to the absorption of nutrients in our bodies. 

In this article, we will explore the disparities between chemical and physical absorption to gain valuable insights into the movement and interaction of substances in our surroundings.

Chemical vs. Physical Absorption

Absorption can be delineated into two overarching categories: chemical absorption, characterised by reactive interactions, and physical absorption, governed by non-reactive mechanisms.

Chemical absorption involves intricate chemical reactions between the absorbed substance and the absorbing material. This type of absorption hinges on factors such as stoichiometry and reactant concentrations. Often occurring within the plate or packed columns, chemical absorption manifests through diverse phases and intricate molecular interactions.

In contrast, physical absorption avoids chemical reactions, relying instead on physical phenomena such as partitioning or substance distribution within a given material.

Pregnancy No Longer A Speed Breaker To Your Entrepreneurial Goals

Applications in Technology

Absorption processes find extensive application across various technological domains. For instance, chemical absorption serves as a cornerstone in the absorption of carbon dioxide by sodium hydroxide, a critical step in numerous industrial processes. Unlike physical absorption, chemical absorption may not adhere strictly to the Nernst partition law.

Equilibrium and Constants

In physical absorption processes, equilibrium ensues between the concentrations of the absorbed substance across distinct phases. This equilibrium complies with established laws, including the Nernst distribution law, delineating the constant ratio of solute species concentrations in equilibrium states across two bulk phases in contact. The size of the partition coefficient changes along with temperature shifts.

Absorption in the Human Body

In the realm of biology, absorption assumes a paramount role in the digestive process. Following the digestion of food within the gastrointestinal tract, nutrients undergo absorption into the bloodstream for subsequent distribution throughout the body.

This absorption predominantly unfolds within the small intestine, where the mucosal membrane orchestrates the transfer of digested materials into the bloodstream or lymphatic system.

Multiple mechanisms govern absorption within the human body, encompassing simple diffusion, active transport, facilitated transport, and passive transport. These mechanisms ensure the efficient absorption and utilisation of indispensable nutrients such as glucose, amino acids, and lipids.

Although the small intestine is the main place where absorption happens, other parts of the digestive system also help with absorption, although not as much. It's important to note that the stomach doesn't absorb nutrients as efficiently as the small intestine.

What is Abrasions?


In essence, absorption epitomises a fundamental process spanning the realms of both chemistry and biology. Whether facilitating substance uptake in industrial settings or mediating the absorption of vital nutrients within the human body, a comprehensive understanding of absorption's nuances and underlying determinants assumes paramount significance.

Serving as a linchpin across diverse scientific disciplines and practical domains, absorption underscores its indispensability in shaping scientific inquiry and technological innovation alike.

The information provided on this platform is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
The authors and creators of this platform do not endorse or recommend any specific tests, physicians, products, procedures, opinions, or other information that may be mentioned. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency services immediately.
Abscess: Understanding the Causes, Symptoms, Types, Treatment, and Prevention

Female Entrepreneurs

No stories found.

Marketing Tips

No stories found.

Software's for Small Business

No stories found.
StartupCity Magazine