Interactive Self-Study Module: Adsorption


This module uses screencasts and an interactive simulation to explain adsorption on solid surfaces and Langmuir adsorption isotherms. Your retention of material in this module will increase if you write down reasons for your answers to ConcepTests, questions in screencasts, and questions to answer before using interactive simulations, and you try to solve the example problems before watching the screencast solutions. We suggest using the resources in the following order:

  1. Attempt to answer the multiple-choice ConcepTest and solve the example problem before watching the screencasts or working with the simulation.
  2. Watch the screencasts and answer the questions within the screencasts.
  3. Review the important equations on this topic.
  4. Use the interactive simulation to further understand adsorption.
  5. Try to solve the example problem before watching the solution in the screencast.
  6. Answer the ConcepTests.
  7. Look at the list of key points, but only after you try to list the key points yourself.
  • Adsorption is important in many processes, including separations and catalytic reactions. 
  • This module is intended for courses in mass and energy balances, kinetics, and separations.
Before studying this module, you should:
  • Be familiar with the concept of equilibrium.
After studying this module, you should be able to:
  • Explain the meanings of adsorption, adsorbent, and adsorbate.
  • Calculate the amount of adsorbent needed to decrease the amount of adsorbate in the gas phase to a fraction of its initial value, given constants for a Langmuir isotherm at the temperature of interest.
  • Given at least two measurements for the amount adsorbed and its equilibrium pressure, determine Langmuir isotherm parameters.
  • Given adsorption measurements (amount adsorbed and equilibrium pressure) at two or more temperatures, determine the heat of adsorption.