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This paper is essentially a survey of the methods and apparatus available for determining the particle size and surface area of finely divided solids by the adsorption of gases and liquids.
A general discussion of the calculation of particle size from surface area data is given, followed by a consideration of the effect of particle shape, porosity, and surface roughness on the validity of such a calculation.
The next section, dealing with gas adsorption methods, is devoted to a consideration of the evaluation of the monolayer capacity from the adsorption isotherm and the assignment of the area occupied by each adsorbate molecule. This is followed by a detailed discussion of the experimental techniques of gas adsorption and the various types of apparatus (volumetric and gravimetric, routine and research) which can be used.
A rather general discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of surface area determination methods based on adsorption from liquid solutions is then presented, followed by a brief discussion of heat of wetting methods.
Finally, data from the literature are shown comparing the results of adsorption methods of particle size determination with several other methods, particularly electron microscopy.
Research Associate, Mellon InstituteUniversity of California, Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory, PittsburghLos Alamos, Pa.N. M.