Monitoring the Haber Process

Monitoring and Management‎ > ‎2. Maximising Production‎ > ‎

Explain why monitoring of the reaction vessel used in the Haber process is crucial and discuss the monitoring required

  • The are a great number of conditions that need to be maintained in the Haber process in order to achieve safety and efficiency, and monitoring of the reaction vessel is therefore essential.
  • Areas that require monitoring in the reaction vessel include:
    • Temperature and pressure, which need to be kept in a range that will provide optimum efficiency (excessive temperatures can damage the catalyst).
    • Oxygen, which needs to be kept absent from the reaction vessel in order to avoid risk of explosion.
    • Carbon monoxide and sulfur compounds, which can poison the catalyst.
    • Unreactive gases such as methane and argon, which can reduce efficiency in large quantities.
    • The ratio of hydrogen gas to nitrogen gas, which needs to be kept at 3:1 (the correct stoichiometric ratio) in order to avoid the build-up of one gas.
  • Much of this monitoring is performed automatically with the supervision of chemical engineers and industrial chemists.