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Chemical-Reaction Equilibria: Molar Ratio Calculations

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Hydrogen gas is produced by the reaction of steam with "water gas," an equimolar mixture of H2 and CO obtained by the reaction of steam with coal. A stream of "water gas" mixed with steam is passed over a catalyst to convert CO to CO2 by the reaction:
H2O(g) + CO(g) ?> H2(g) + CO2(g)
Subsequently, unreacted water is condensed and carbon dioxide is absorbed, leaving a product that is mostly hydrogen. The equilibrium conditions are I bar and 800 K.
(a) Would there be any advantage to carrying out the reaction at pressures above 1 bar?
(b) Would increasing the equilibrium temperature increase the conversion of CO?
(c) For the given equilibrium conditions, determine the molar ratio of steam to "water gas" (H2 + CO) required to produce a product gas containing only 2-mol-% CO after cooling to 20°C, where the unreacted H2O has been virtually all condensed.

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Solution Summary

Molar ratio of an equilibrium mixture is calculated from mole percent data.