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Ostwald Process

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Ashley Davis

on 17 February 2013

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Transcript of Ostwald Process

The Ostwald Process A chemical process for making nitric acid. Provides the main material for the most common fertilizer production. It is considered the mainstay of the chemical industry. The Ostwald Process was developed by Friedrich Wilhelm Ostwald. He was a Baltic German, born in the Latvian capital Riga. Ostwald was awarded a Nobel Prize In Chemistry in 1909. The basics of the process had been created 64 years earlier by Kuhlmann.This process is related to the Haber Process in that it uses the ammonia produced. Ostwald`s process led to the large scale production of fertilizer and explosives. This was an important chemical process because the German`s needed it at the time to make explosives for World War 1. It is still important because everyday people use it to fertilize their lawns, plants and crops. A balanced equation for this reaction is;
4 NH3 + 5 O2 --> 4 NO + 6 H2O
Delta H = -905.2 kJ
This equation represents the first step of the reaction where ammonia is being oxidized by heating the oxygen. At high pressures the equilibrium will be shifted to the right because there are less molecules of gas in the products. At a low temperature the reaction will also shift to the right. Typical conditions for the Ostwald Process are pressures between atmospheric pressure and 14 atmospheres. The temperature will be between 780 and 950 degrees celsius. The cost of rhodium and platinum, which are the catalysts, are very expensive and cause the product from being used as much. Safety is a huge prevention of industrial use because of the danger of explosions, like the blast in Texas in 1947 that killed 500 people. Catalysts used in this reaction are platinum gauze and rhodium. High temperature also increases the reaction time. Bibliography; " Ostwald Process" Wikipedia. 5/17. Web. 28 May 2012<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ostwald_process>

" Wilhelm Ostwald" Wikipedia 5/28. Web. 28 May 2012<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilhelm_Ostwald>

"The Ostwald Process" Manufacturing Nitrates. Web. 28 May 2012 <http://www.digipac.ca/chemical/mtom/contents/chapter3/fritzhaber_2.htm>

"Ostwald Process" Platinum Engineered Materials. Umicore, Web. 28 May 2012<http://www.pem-news. de/news-list.15/items/the-ostwald-process.html>

"Whilhelm Ostwald-Biography". Nobelprize.org. 28 May 2012 http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1909/ostwald.bio.html
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