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Haber Process Essay

1105 words - 4 pages

THE HABER PROCESS"¯In the late 19th century, more food was required to feed Europe and North America's growing population."¯The addition of nitrogen based fertilizer (NaNO3(s), NH3NO3(s)) increased crop yield."¯Soon, there was a high demand for the fertilizer itself."¯In 1909, the German company BASF investigated the possibility of producing ammonia from atmospheric nitrogen, N2(g). An year later, Haber, a professor did it."¯The observations were: - N2(g) and H2(g) form an equilibrium mixture with ammonia- Optimum conditions: closed container, suitable catalyst (iron oxide), a 600 ¢XC temperature, a 30 MPa pressure"¯This method is called the Haber Process"¯BASF brought the rights to the process and built a plant producing 10 000 t ammonia per yearTEMPERATURE"¯At low temperatures, the reaction of N2(g) and H2(g) is not economical"¯Adding heat increases the rate of reaction"¯The higher the temperature, the lower the ammonia yield"¯Haber had to balance the rate of a reaction (increased by increasing temperature) against the equilibrium of the reaction (pushed to the right by decreasing temperatures)"¯Using a catalyst eliminates the need for high temperatures allowing the equilibrium to move to the right at low temperatures"¯Today, we are using the Haber process to produce huge quantities of ammonia"¯Ammonia is used to make explosives and fertilizers - dissolves in moisture present in soil (if the soil is acidic it's converted into ammonia ion) and enters the nitrogen cycle where it is converted to nitrate ions by soil bacteria. Nitrate ions are absorbed by plants through roots and used in proteins, chlorophyll and nucleic acids"¯Without nitrogen, the plants produce yellow leafs which cause the plant to dies prematurelyUNDERSTANDING CONCEPTS1. 1. Add N2(g) - this will increase the reactant concentration. The system will therefore try to balance the equilibrium by making more product, in this case NH3(g). If you remove N2(g), the system will try to balance the equilibrium by making more reactant from products, therefore, there will be less ammonia produced.2. Add H2(g) - this will increase the reactant concentration. The system will therefore try to balance the equilibrium by making more product, in this case NH3(g). If you remove H2(g), the system will try to balance the equilibrium by making more reactant from products, therefore, there will be less ammonia produced.3. Add NH3(g) - this will increase the product's concentration. The system will therefore try to balance the equilibrium by making more reactant, in this case N2(g) and H2(g). Even though part of the ammonia added is consumed to make reactants, it will still be higher than initial. If you remove NH3(g), the system will try to balance the equilibrium by making more product from reactants, therefore, there will be less H2(g), N2(g) and NH3(g) produced.4. Decrease temperature - this will decrease kinetic energy....

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