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The Haber Process

Covering AQA C2 3.7 Making Ammonia - The Haber Process, and C2 5.3 More About the Haber Process.
by

Gemma Boyson

on 21 December 2010

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Transcript of The Haber Process

AQA C2 3.7
Making Ammonia:
The Haber Process Hydrogen &
Nitrogen
gases in A pump compresses
the gases to 250 atm In the reaction vessel
the temperature is
maintained at 450C,
the gases are passed
over a catalyst (iron). The reaction is reversible, and the forward reaction (N + H NH3) is exothermic.
So, a lower temperature would give a higher yield.
However, this would be very slow, so the increased temperature increases the rate of reaction, giving more product overall in a given time. The high pressure is needed to ensure the reversible reaction happens in the right 'direction'.
N2 + 3H2 2NH2
There are more moles of the reactants (nitrogen and hydrogen) than of the product (ammonia) so higher pressure favours the forward reaction. However, high pressures are expensive to maintain and can be dangerous, so a compromise of 250atm is used instead A heat exchanger or 'condenser' cools the mixture of gases. Because ammonia (NH3) is a larger molecule than N2 or H2, the ammonia has a lower boiling point, and forms a liquid, whilst the nitrogen and hydrogen remain gases to be reused.
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