Haber process | Fuse School + Unisciel
Ammonia or azane is a compound of nitrogen and hydrogen with the formula NH3. It is a colourless gas with a characteristic pungent smell. Ammonia contributes significantly to the nutritional needs of terrestrial organisms by serving as a precursor to food and fertilizers. Ammonia, either directly or indirectly, is also a building block for the synthesis of many pharmaceuticals and is used in many commercial cleaning products. Although common in nature and in wide use, ammonia is both caustic and hazardous in its concentrated form.
Industrial production of ammonia
The global industrial production of ammonia in 2014 was 176,000,000 tonnes (173,000,000 long tons; 194,000,000 short tons), a 16% increase over the 2006 global industrial production of 15,200,000 tonnes (15,000,000 long tons; 16,800,000 short tons).
NH3 boils at −33.34 °C (−28.012 °F) at a pressure of one atmosphere, so the liquid must be stored under pressure or at low temperature. Household ammonia or ammonium hydroxide is a solution of NH3 in water. The concentration of such solutions is measured in units of the Baumé scale (density), with 26 degrees baumé (about 30% (by weight) ammonia at 15.5 °C or 59.9 °F) being the typical high-concentration commercial product.
Manufacture of ammonia using the Haber-Bosch process
The Haber process, also called the Haber–Bosch process, is an artificial nitrogen fixation process and is the main industrial procedure for the production of ammonia today. It is named after its inventors, the German chemists Fritz Haber and Carl Bosch, who developed it in the first half of the 20th century. The process converts atmospheric nitrogen (N2) to ammonia (NH3) by a reaction with hydrogen (H2) using a metal catalyst under high temperatures and pressures.