The Haber Process

Specification Point 5.19C:
  • Describe the Haber process as a reversible reaction between nitrogen and hydrogen to form ammonia.
  • The Haber Process is a reversible reaction between nitrogen and hydrogen to form ammonia.
  • It occurs in five stages.
  • Stage 1  H2 and N2 are obtained from natural gas and the air respectively and 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:

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.

The production of ammonia by the Haber Process

Edexcel 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.