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07.05 Le Châtelier’s Principle: Research Assignment

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Lauren Fehr

on 12 August 2013

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Transcript of 07.05 Le Châtelier’s Principle: Research Assignment

The Haber Process (Haber-Bosch Process)
1. Describe the process you researched, including its uses in various industrial or health fields.
The Haber Process, in general, combines nitrogen from the air with hydrogen derived mainly from natural gas (methane) into ammonia. The reaction is reversible and the production of ammonia is exothermic.'' (Clark, 2013) In the industry of agriculture, the produced ammonia by the Haber-Bosch process, is used as fertilizer to put nitrogen into soils for plants. Most of our major staple crops such as wheat and corn, needs soil nitrogen. ("Industrial agriculture," 2012) The produced ammonia, in health fields, are very useful for pharmaceuticals. Examples would include the manufacturing of drugs ''such as sulfonamide which inhibit the growth and multiplication of bacteria that require p-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) for the biosynthesis of folic acids, anti-malarials and vitamins such as the B vitamins nicotinamide (niacinamide) and thiamine.'' ("Chemistry tutorial: Haber,")
2. Who developed or discovered this process? When? What country was he or she from?
The individual who developed this process is German chemist, Fritz Haber. He had developed it in 1905 and it was ''scaled up by BASF's great chemist and engineer, Carl Bosch-hence the name ''Haber-Bosch'' process.'' ("Fritz haber," 2010) Haber is from Germany. ("Fritz haber-biographical," 2013)
3. Provide a short paragraph providing some historical background. Why is, or was, this an important chemical process?
The Haber Process was ''developed at the beginning of the twentieth century, leading up to the First World War.'' Growing militancy was in demand for more explosives, which called for natural nitrate resources. Thereafter, German chemical engineer Carl Bosch had assisted Haber in converting the method into an industrial process, by 1914. In addition to "[allowing] the production of fertilizers and explosives to continue in Germany," "the food and munitions that the Haber process allowed to be produced sustained Germany’s war effort and prolonged the war." (Schiller, 2010-2013) This is a very important chemical process because it produces ammonia [by combining nitrogen and hydrogen] which "is used to make fertilizers, explosives, dyes, household cleaners, and nylon. It is also the most important raw material in the manufacture of nitric acid.'' ("Ammonia and the," 2013)
4. Write a balanced chemical equation for this reaction, including the energy term. Is it an endothermic or exothermic reaction?
N2(g) + 3H2(g) 2NH3(g) ("The haber process:," 2013) The production of ammonia is exothermic. (Clark, 2013)
5. Use Le Châtelier’s principle to explain the conditions that favor the forward reaction.
Le Chatelier's principle says: If a change is imposed on a system at equilibrium, the position of the equilibrium will shift in a direction that helps to reduce the effect of that change. So the conditions that favor a forward reaction is when the rate of the forward reaction is equal to the rate of the reverse reaction. (7.05-lesson tab)
• Clark, J. (2013, April). The haber process. Retrieved from http://www.chemguide.co.uk/physical/equilibria/haber.html
• Industrial agriculture. (2012). Retrieved from https://www.e-education.psu.edu/geog030/node/358
• Fritz haber. (2010). Retrieved from http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/online-resources/chemistry-in-history/themes/early-chemistry-and-gases/haber.aspx
• Chemistry tutorial: Haber process for ammonia production. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.ausetute.com.au/haberpro.html
• Fritz haber-biographical. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1918/haber-bio.html
• Schiller, M. (2010-2013). History of the haber process. Retrieved from http://www.easychem.com.au/monitoring-and-management/maximising-production/history-of-the-haber-process
• Ammonia and the haber process. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/add_aqa_pre_2011/chemreac/energychangesrev3.shtml
• The haber process: choosing a pressure. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/add_aqa_pre_2011/chemreac/reversiblereacrev5.shtml
• flvs.net
• Fritz haber: A case study in the politics of science. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.digipac.ca/chemical/mtom/contents/chapter3/fritzhaber.htm
• Zmaczynski, R. (n.d.). The effect of the haber process on fertilizers. Retrieved from http://www.princeton.edu/~hos/mike/texts/readmach/zmaczynski.htm
6. Under what temperature, pressure, and other conditions is this reaction typically carried out? How does this relate to part of your answer for Question 3?
Nitrogen and hydrogen could be combined at elevated temperatures and pressures, in the presence of a catalyst; a process in which Haber first demonstrated, in 1905. ("Fritz haber: A," ) By mixing iron, iron oxide, and aluminum; efficiency could be increased ''to the point where the reaction could be carried out at temperatures of about 500 oC and pressures of 200 atmospheres (about the pressure in a SCUBA tank).'' ("Fritz haber: A," ) This relates to part of my answer for question three because, it has to do with the importance of the chemical process: The Haber Process.
7. What safety, cost, or other considerations prevent most industrial applications from using the most ideal conditions for high yield of the product?
Most industrial applications are prevented from using the most ideal conditions for high yield of the product, possibly ''due to a lack of knowledge and ability in building and maintaining the high pressure equipment needed to carry out the reaction and a lack of knowledge about the chemistry of the catalysts needed,'' as so with British and American efforts to produce ammonia. (Zmaczynski)
8. What catalyst, if any, is used for this reaction?
One catalyst could be a mixture of iron and iron oxide. Efficiency could be increased by adding aluminum. ("Fritz haber: A," )
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