Sorbent(redirected from sorb)
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any one of the solids or liquids that selectively sorbs gases, vapors, or dissolved substances from a surrounding medium. Depending on the nature of the sorption, distinctions are made between absorbents, which form solid or liquid solutions with the sorbates; adsorbents, which collect the sorbates on surfaces that are usually irregular in order to increase surface area; and chemical absorbents, which form chemical bonds with the sorbates. Ion-exchange sorbents, or ion exchangers, form a separate category; these substances absorb ions of one type from a solution and release an equivalent quantity of ions of another type. The most important solid sorbents include activated charcoal, silica gel, aluminum oxide, zeolites, and ion-exchange resins.