C2(ii) - Rates of Reaction 8.

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The Haber Process.

This is an important industrial process. It produces Ammonia (NH3), which is used to make fertilizers.

Nitrogen and Hydrogen Are Needed to Make Ammonia.

N2 (g) + 3H2 (g) (http://www.citycollegiate.com/reversible_arrow.gif) 2NH3 (g) (+ heat)

1) The nitrogen is obtained easily from the air, which is 78% nitrogen (and 21% oxygen).

2) The hydrogen comes from natural gas or from other sources like crude oil.

3) Because the reaction is reversible, it occurs in both directions, not all of the nitrogen and hydrogen will convert to ammonia. The reaction reaches a dynamic equilibrium.

Industrial Condition:

  • Pressure: 200 atmosphere.
  • Temperature: 450°C.
  • Catalyst: Iron.

The Reaction is Reversible, So There's a Compromise to be Made:

1) Higher pressures favour the forward reaction (since there are four moles of gas on the left-hand side, for every two moles on the right).

2) So the pressure is set as high as possible to give the best % yield, without making…

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