The Haber Process

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  • Created by: Jasmin
  • Created on: 08-04-13 18:32
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  • The Haber Process
    • Produces ammonia (NH3) to make fertilisers
    • N2(g) + 3H2(g) = 2NH3(g) (+heat)
      • Nitrogen from air (78%)
      • Hydrogen from natural gas
        • Purified first
          • Nitrogen from air (78%)
    • Reversible reaction
    • Industrial conditions
      • Pressure: 200 atmospheres
        • This pressure because low yield but cheaper
      • Temperature: 450C
        • High for speed not for a better equilibrium
      • Conditions chosen to give reasonable yield as quickly as possible
    • Gas Stream contains hydrogen and nitrogen
      • Nitrogen/hydrogen are compressed to 200atm, heated at 450C (faster, higher rate of reaction)
        • Reaction vessel contains iron catalyst
          • Mixture of gases emerging from reactor cooled. Ammonia liquefies and is separated
            • Unreacted nitrogen and hydrogen are returned to the reaction vessel - recycled nothing wasted
      • 4 molecules on one side and 2 on the other
        • Volume of reactants greater than volume of products
      • Increase pressure, shift equilibrium to right - more ammonia produced
      • To get maximum yield need increase pressure - lots of energy needed - expensive
      • Forward reaction exothermic
        • Low temperature, will increase amount of ammonia in reaction
          • Mixture at equilibrium


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