Two words that are usually interchangeably used are adsorbent and absorbent as they almost have the same spelling and pronunciation. To give enlightenment, here are the differences between these two so you would know what word you will be using next time. The adsorbent is a type of material that undergone the process of by which a gas, liquid or dissolved solid can adhere itself to an adsorbent material.
The process of adsorption does not absorb liquid, gas or solid into the material. A good example of adsorbent material is silica gel. You would not notice any change in its appearance or weight but it helps in keeping your items (or medicine) safe from water damage. The absorbent is a material that can dissolve or absorb liquid or gas inside it. The most common absorbent materials are paper towels, sponges, and napkins that are used in cleaning or absorbing liquid spills.
There is a subtle difference between the word “adsorbent” and “absorbent.” Many people have heard of and used the word “absorbent.” This is because they may use a sponge to clean a liquid off of their counter, and the sponge is absorbent. This is because the sponge soaks up the liquid and puts it inside of the sponge.
Adsorbent means something similar where it takes a liquid, but instead of putting it inside of the sponge or object, the liquid stays on the surface of the object. Therefore, the main difference is where the liquid is found. These words are also used a lot in science. With adhesion, the adsorbent is involved, but with dissolution and diffusion, you would find absorption.