6 Difference Between Diffusion And Imbibition

SHARE

What Is Diffusion?

Diffusion is the process whereby the molecules move as a result of their kinetic energy. Diffusion occurs in liquids and gases because their molecules move randomly. The molecules move from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration, down the concentration gradient, until the concentration equalizes throughout the medium.

Diffusion is quite important as it affects many life processes. All living organisms exhibit one or the other form of diffusion, allowing the movement of the molecules during various metabolic or cellular processes.

There are a few factors that affect the process of diffusion, which individually and collectively alters the rate and extent of diffusion. The factors include:

  • Temperature
  • Area of interaction
  • Size of the particles
  • Concentration gradient

What You Need To Know About Diffusion

  1. Diffusion is movement of substances from the region of their higher concentration to a region of lower concentration.
  2. Does not require an adsorbent.
  3. All the substances present in the medium show diffusion.
  4. There is little change in pressure.
  5. Energy in the form of heat is not liberated.
  6. There is usually no change in volume.

What Is Imbibition?

Imbibition is a type of diffusion whereby the water is absorbed by the solid particles referred to as colloids, without forming a solution causing an increase in volume. For a substance to imbibe a liquid, a gradient between the absorbent and the liquid is essential, though the capacity of imbibing will differ in different imbibants.

The swelling of soaked seeds, the swelling of a wooden door during rains, germination of seeds, and absorption of water by roots are some of the examples of imbibition.

Imbibition is the first step of water absorption. It helps in the germination of seeds and facilitates absorption of water by the roots of the plants. The seedlings emerge out of the soil and establish themselves through imbibition.

Factors Affecting Imbibition

  • Pressure
  • PH of the medium
  • The texture of the imbibant
  • The affinity of the imbibant for the imbibate.

What You Need To Know About Imbibition

  1. Diffusion is absorption is absorption of water by the particles of a solid without forming a solution.
  2. Imbibition only occurs when an adsorbent is present.
  3. Only the liquid diffuses. The solid particles do not diffuse.
  4. A very high pressure develops on Imbibition.
  5. Heat is liberated during Imbibition. This is referred to as heat of wetting.
  6. The imbibant swells up but the swelling is less than volume of imbibate.

Also Read: Difference Between Diffusion And Osmosis

Difference Between Diffusion And Imbibition In Tabular Form

BASIS OF COMPARISON DIFFUSION IMBIBITION
Description Diffusion is movement of substances from the region of their higher concentration to a region of lower concentration.   Diffusion is absorption is absorption of water by the particles of a solid without forming a solution.  
Adsorbent Does not require an adsorbent.   Imbibition only occurs when an adsorbent is present.  
Diffusion Of Particles All the substances present in the medium show diffusion.   Only the liquid diffuses. The solid particles do not diffuse.  
Pressure There is little change in pressure.   A very high pressure develops on Imbibition.  
Heat Liberation Energy in the form of heat is not liberated.   Heat is liberated during Imbibition. This is referred to as heat of wetting.  
Change In Volume There is usually no change in volume.   The imbibant swells up but the swelling is less than volume of imbibate.