Habers Process

Haber’s Process:

Ammonia is mostly employed as a source of nitrogen fertilizer, in nitric acid production and in nitrogen having pharmaceuticals. Ammonia is commercially generated in industries from the gaseous elements nitrogen and hydrogen in air by means of Haber’s procedure. Ammonia formation reaction is an equilibrium reaction.

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The forward reaction is accompanied by reduce in the number of moles of reactants and according to Le Chatlier’s principle, a raise in pressure favors such a reaction and shifts the equilibrium in the product formation direction.

Thus, around 300-500 atm pressure is applied on 3:1 mole ratio of H2:N2 gas mixture in the reaction chamber for maximum outcome of ammonia. The ammonia formation reaction is exothermic in nature. By Le Chatlier’s principle, raise in temperature favors decomposition reaction of ammonia. Though, at low temperature the time to reach the equilibrium becomes much long. Therefore an optimum temperature close to 500°C-550°C is sustained. Iron catalyst is selected to speed up the attainment of the equilibrium concentration of ammonia. In order to sustain the equilibrium conditions, steam is passed to eliminate away the ammonia as and whenever it is formed and hence the equilibrium remains shifted towards the product side. The maximum outcome of ammonia is approximately 37%.


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