Making Ammonia - From the C3 syllabus

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Making Ammonia

1) The raw materials for the Haber process are nitrogen and hydrogen. Nitrogen is obtained from the air and hydrogen may be obtained from natural gas (methane) or other substances.

2) The purified gases are passed over a catalyst of iron at a high temperature (about 450'C) and a high pressure (about 200 atmospheres). Some of the hydrogen and nitrogen reacts to form ammonia. The reaction is reversible so ammonia breaks down into nitrogen and hydrogen:

nitrogen+hydrogen>< ammonia

On cooling, the ammonia liquifies and is removed (as it has a higher


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