The picture shows Gas–liquid absorption (a) and liquid–solid adsorption (b) mechanism. Blue spheres are solute molecules.
Specific cases of sorption are treated in the following articles:
– Absorption – “the incorporation of a substance in one state into another of a different state” (e.g., liquids being absorbed by a solid or gases being absorbed by a liquid);
– Adsorption – the physical adherence or bonding of ions and molecules onto the surface of another phase (e.g., reagents adsorbed to a solid catalyst surface);
– Ion exchange – an exchange of ions between two electrolytes or between an electrolyte solution and a complex.