Haber process

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  • Haber Process
    • Nitrogen and hydrogen are needed to make Ammonia
      • Nitrogen is obtained easily from the air
      • Hydrogen can be obtained from hydrocarbons from sources such and natural gas or crude oil
      • The reaction in reversible so nitrogen breaks down again into nitrogen and hydrogen.
      • The reaction reaches an equalibrium
    • conditions
      • In industry ammonia is made at a pressure of 200 atm and temperature of 450? in the presence of an iron catalyst.
      • Higher pressures favor the forward reaction
        • Yield will be best when the pressure is high although it can be too expensive
      • The forward reaction is exothermic which means increasing the temperature will actually move the equilibrium position the wrong way
        • Yield will be greater at lower temperature
        • The lower temperature means a lower rate of reaction so industry compromise
    • Iron catalyst speed up the reaction and reduces costs
      • makes the reaction go faster which gets it to the equilibrium proportion more quickly
        • Catalyst doesn't affect the position of the equilibrium
      • without the catalyst the temperature would have to be raised even further to get a quick enough reaction, and that would reduce the % yield even further.

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