In chemical processes and environmental engineering, catalytic and adsorptive processes are commonly applied for the reduction or degradation of pollutants and the recycling of resources. The temperature is a key control-parameter within these processes. It determines the reaction- and diffusion rates as well as the position of the adsorption-desorption equilibrium. Both loaded adsorbents and heterogeneous catalysts have to be heated for thermal desorption and regeneration or for adjustment of the working temperature respectively. The application of dielectric heating processes based on the absorption of radio waves or microwaves has clear advantages over conventional heating processes for the thermal desorption of loaded adsorbents and for the heating of catalysts. The adsorbents or catalysts are heated immediately with high energy efficiency and without further feeds or energy carrier. Additionally its possible to respond flexible and spontaneously on changing operating conditions. The application of radio waves offers significant advantages especially for the processes in the technical scale. The object of the present work was the determination of the foundations for an application of radio- frequency dielectric heating of adsorbents and supported catalysts. Furthermore, the feasibility of selective heating of catalyst clusters and polar adsorbates by the application of radio wave as well as microwaves is examined. Adsorbents, such as activated carbon and zeolites, could be heated quickly and homogeneously by radio waves in the laboratory as well as at the pilot plant scale. The radio wave energy was transferred to the fixed bed without significant losses. The substance-selective dielectric heating of components heterogeneous systems, such as catalyst clusters of supported catalysts or polar adsorbates, was investigated by thermal desorption experiments in vacuum and under atmospheric pressure. The experimental concept was shown to be suitable for the identification of substance-selective heating effects. Particles of the zeolite 13X with a particle size within the range of 63 µm to 93 µm could be heated selectively by radio waves in a γ-Al2O3-matrix under reduced pressure. The radio-frequency dielectric heating of larger particles in the same matrix led to a stronger selective heating effect. However, a strong agreement in the desorption progress was determined for the radio frequency dielectric heating and the conventional heating of the samples under ambient pressure. The heat exchange between the zeolite particles and the γ-Al2O3-matrix led to sufficiently fast temperature equalization. The selective heating of catalyst-clusters of supported catalysts by radio waves as well as microwaves was investigated with a commercial Pd/γ-Al2O3-catalyst. Even under reduced pressure no significant influence of the heating process on the tracer desorption from the catalyst clusters could be determined. The catalysts clusters were not heated selectively by radio waves or microwaves. Furthermore, the influence of dielectric heating on the desorption of polar molecules was determined. Adsorbed polar molecules usually lead to an increase of the effective dielectric losses of the adsorbents. With dielectric heating it is possible to establish temperature gradients between loaded and unloaded ranges of the adsorbents even under ambient pressure. A favoured desorption of polar substances, such as ammonia and water, compared to the desorption of nonpolar adsorbates could not be proven for dielectric heating. Theoretical investigation shows, in accordance with the experimental results, that particles can be heated selectively under ambient pressure only up a particle size of some millimetres.