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Haber process

Haber process hä´bər [key], commercial process for the synthesis of ammonia , NH 3. Pure hydrogen and nitrogen gases are mixed in the appropriate proportion, heated to between 450°C and 600°C, compressed to about 1,000 atmospheres pressure, and passed over a catalyst. The reaction is 3H 2+N 2⥨ 2NH 3+heat. The ammonia gas is liquefied by rapid cooling unreacted nitrogen and hydrogen are returned to the reaction chamber. This process, developed by Fritz Haber in 1909, was the first commercially important high-pressure chemical process.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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