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7.05 Le Châtelier’s Principle
Transcript of 7.05 Le Châtelier’s Principle
Questions to Answer
The Haber-Bosch process combines nitrogen from the air with hydrogen delivered from natural gas into ammonia. This is important because ammonia is the primary ingredient in artificial fertilizers which is an essential part of agriculture. This process was the first to make use of extremely high pressures and temperatures. Today, it is responsible for the production of 500 million tons of fertilizer per year. This has sustained about 40 percent of Earth’s population while only using 1 percent of the world’s energy to produce it
By Sebastian Castillo-Sanchez
The Haber-Bosch Process
Early in the twentieth century several chemists tried and failed to produce ammonia from atmospheric nitrogen. The enormous technical problems associated with the process were first solved by German chemist Fritz Haber. He first demonstrated their success in the summer of 1909, producing ammonia from air drop by drop, at the rate of about a cup every two hours. The process was purchased by the German chemical company BASF, which assigned Carl Bosch the difficult task of scaling up Haber's tabletop machine to industrial-level production. Haber and Bosch were later awarded Nobel prizes, in 1918 and 1931 respectively, for their work in overcoming the chemical and engineering problems posed by the use of large-scale, continuous-flow, high-pressure technology.
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7.05 Le Châtelier’s Principle
4. Balanced Equation: N2+3H2 <- ->2NH3 deltaH=-92.2kj mol-1
The forward reaction or production of ammonia is exothermic.
5. According to Le Châtelier’s principle, when lowering the temperature , it will favor the reactants. Therefore, in order to get as much ammonia as needed, you need as low a temperature as possible.
6.This reaction is typically carried out at 200-400 atm (pressure) and about 750°-1,200° Fahrenheit (temperature).
7. The fact that it takes one percent of the world’s energy to produce each year and the dangers of using ammonia could prevent most industrial applications from using the most ideal conditions for high yield of the product.
8. The specific catalyst is iron and has potassium hydroxide added to it as a helper to increase its efficiency.