Manufacturing Process

  • Ammonia is manufactured using The Haber Process which occurs in five stages.
  • The reactants are hydrogen and nitrogen which are extracted from methane and the air respectively.
  • Stage 1: H2 and N2 gases are pumped into the compressor through pipes.
  • Stage 2: the gases are compressed to about 200 atmospheres inside the compressor.
  • Stage 3: the pressurised gases are pumped into a tank containing layers of catalytic iron beads at a temperature of 450°C. Some of the hydrogen and nitrogen react to form ammonia in the following reversible reaction:

N2(g) + 3H2(g) ⇌ 2NH3(g)

  • Stage 4: unreacted H2 and N2 and product ammonia pass into a cooling tank. The ammonia is liquefied and removed to pressurised storage vessels.
  • Stage 5: the unreacted H2 and N2 gases are recycled back into the system and start over again.

, IGCSE & GCSE Chemistry revision notes

The production of ammonia by the Haber Process

Energy & Raw Materials

  • Like all industries, companies that manufacture and sell chemical goods do so to make a profit.
  • Part of the industrial process is the economical decision on how and where to design and implement manufacturing sites.
  • The availability and cost of raw materials is a major concern which must be studied well before any decisions are taken.
  • If the cost of extraction of raw materials is too high or they are unavailable then the process is no longer economically viable.
  • Many industrial processes require huge amounts of heat and pressure which is very expensive to maintain.
  • Production energy costs are also a factor to be considered carefully and alongside the raw materials issue.
  • For example, the cost of electricity may be very cheap in some countries, however the availability of raw materials may not be adequate or they may need to be transported, adding to costs.

AQA GCSE Chemistry Notes

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Morgan Curtin Chemistry

Author: Morgan

Morgan’s passion for the Periodic Table begun on his 10th birthday when he received his first Chemistry set. After studying the subject at university he went on to become a fully fledged Chemistry teacher, and now works in an international school in Madrid! In his spare time he helps create our fantastic resources to help you ace your exams.