My textbook says

…easily liquefiable gases i.e. with higher critical temperatures are readily adsorbed as van der Waals' forces are stronger near the critical temperatures.

What I do understand is that at a temperature higher than the critical temperature $(T_\mathrm c)$ the gas molecules have higher kinetic energy which is why they're unable to form strong bonds.

But, what if the temperature is lower than the critical temperature? Or is my reasoning incorrect?

  • $\begingroup$ You're missing the point. I'm pretty sure this text was about adsorption in specific, rather high temp. and in such temp. when the critical is higher then adsorption stronger. I wonder why an issue stemming from such misunderstanding, got 4 upvotes already. $\endgroup$
    – Mithoron
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 22:43

1 Answer 1


Critical temperature is kind of measure of the strength of intermolecular van der Waals force.

Comparison of actual and critical temperature is kind of comparison of average kinetic energy of molecules with energy needed to break the intermolecular bonds.

So temperature itself does not say anything about the bonding strength. It only indirectly determine probability these bonds get broken by thermal molecular motion.


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