Applications of second-order kinetic models to adsorption systems were reviewed. An overview of second-order kinetic expressions is described in this paper based on the solid adsorption capacity. An early empirical second-order equation was applied in the adsorption of gases onto a solid. A similar second-order equation was applied to describe ion exchange reactions. In recent years, a pseudo-second-order rate expression has been widely applied to the adsorption of pollutants from aqueous solutions onto adsorbents. In addition, the earliest rate equation based on the solid adsorption capacity is also presented in detail.