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Ammonia and Oxygen

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The reaction of ammonia with oxygen (from the air) to form nitrogen monoxide (NO, also known as nitric oxide ) is the first stage in the industrial conversion of ammonia into nitric acid. At the temperatures used, the thermo chemical equation for the reaction is as follows:

4NH3(g) + 502 <--->4NO(g) + 6H2 O(g) (delta)h=-906Kj

a) Explain the following:

i)The effect that increasing the temperature will have on the rate of the reaction.

ii) The effect that increasing the temperature will have on the rate of the reaction

Your answer to (a)(i) should include a clear statement of Le Chatelier's principle and should show clear understanding of how this principle applies to the situation described.

b) In practice the process for producing NO from ammonia is operated at about 650oC in the presence of a platinum catalyst.

Bearing in mind you answers to part (a), explain the role of the platinum catalyst, noting how its presence helps to maximize the equilibrium yield of NO whilst also ensuring a reasonable rate of production.

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Solution Summary

An explanation of a reaction of ammonia with oxygen which forms nitrogen monoxide, as well as the effects of temperature changes.

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(a) The reaction is exothermic. We know because the sign of (delta) H is negative. That means that heat is released in the reaction. Therefore, the heat appears on the right side of the reaction, among the products. LeChatalier's principle states that whenever we perturb a system it will react to ...

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