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Making Sulphuric Acid: the contact process
Transcript of Making Sulphuric Acid: the contact process
The plant will be on Perot's Island
because it is away from the hustle
and bustle of everyday Bermuda life.
It won't harm any residents (because
of isolation). Boats will take resources
to the factory, and products away
from the factory.
Benefits for Bermuda:
It will help with farming so we could
grow more crops to support Bermudian
Making Sulphuric Acid: the contact process...
It plays a part in almost all
productions of manufactured goods.
For example, it has a major role in
the making of fertilizers.
eg/. superphosfate of lime &
Also, in the production of chemicals.
eg/. making hydrochloric acid,
explosives & drugs.
Safe and Clean:
Uses of Sulphuric Acid:
Sulphuric acid can impact the increase in
acid rain and cloud formation. Acid rain affects
the terrestrial and aquatic life of plants,
animals and marine creatures. It can also raise
health concern as it affects the respiratory
systems of humans.
It dissolves when it mixes with water.
Its very corrosive and would badly burn any plants,
birds and animals.
Small quantities of sulphuric acid will be neutralized
by the natural alkalinity in aquatic systems.
Larger quantities may lower the pH.
Raw materials needed:
-sulphur: fossil fuels/ sulphide ores
-water: use sea water
The cons of having it so close to the water is that
it might pollute the sea and destroy the sea life.
Sulphur trioxide is first dissolved in
concentrated sulphuric acid. The
product is known as 'fuming sulphuric
acid' or 'oleum'.
This can then be reacted safely with water
to produce concentrated sulphuric acid-
twice as much as you originally used
to make the fuming sulphuric acid.
To increase the reaction rate, high temperatures
(450 degrees C ), medium pressures (1-2 atm)
and vandium (V) oxide (V2O5) are used to
ensure a 96% conversion. Platinum will be a
more effective catalyst, but it is costly and
easily poisoned. The catalyst only serves to
increase the rate of reaction as it does not
change the position of the thermodynamic
According to the Le Chatelier's principle,
a lower temperature should be used to shift the
chemical equilibrium towards the right, hence
increasing the percentage yield. However too low
of a temperature will lower the formation rate to
an uneconomical level.
400-450 degrees C is a compromise
temperature producing a fairly high
proportion of sulphur trioxide in the
equilibrium mixture, but in a very short time.
Le Chatelier's principle:
if you increase the pressure the system will
respond by favoring the reaction which
produces fewer molecules. That will
cause the pressure to fall again. In order to
get as much sulphur trioxide as possible
in the equilibrium mixture, you need as
high a pressure as possible.
High pressure also increase the rate of reaction.