The Haber Process

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  • Created by: Jess
  • Created on: 18-05-13 11:55

The Haber Process

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

Nitrogen and Hydrogen are needed to make ammonia

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

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

3) Some of the nitrogen and hydrogen reacts to form ammonia. Because the reactions is reversible- it occurs in both directions- ammonia breaks down again into nitrogen and hydrogen. The reaction reaches equilibrium.

Industrial conditions:

Pressure: 200 atmospheres   Temperature: 450 degrees   Catalyst: Iron

The reaction is reversible , so there's a compromise to be made:

1)  Higher pressures favouir the forward reaction ( since there are four molecules of gas on the left hand side for every 2 molecules on the right)



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