Questions & Answers

In Haber’s Process, hydrogen is obtained by reacting methane with steam in presence of NiO catalyst. This is known as steam reforming. Why is it necessary to remove CO when ammonia is obtained by Haber’s Process?

Answer Verified Verified
Hint: Haber’s Process is the suitable industrial process for manufacturing of Ammonia. Carbon Monoxide (CO) promotes molybdenum in Haber’s Process and also forms iron carbonyl. For high yield of ammonia, we follow Le-Chatelier’s Principle.

Complete step by step answer:
The Haber’s Process is also called Haber-Bosch Process is the main industrial process for manufacture of ammonia.
In the Haber Process, “the atmospheric nitrogen $\left( {{N_2}} \right)$ converts to ammonia $\left( {N{H_3}} \right)$ when nitrogen reacts with hydrogen $\left( {{H_2}} \right)$.
The raw materials used in the process are:
-Water which gives hydrogen and energy
-Iron which is used as catalyst
The process for Haber’s Process is:
${N_2} + 3{H_2}\overset {Fe/Mo} \leftrightarrows 2N{H_3}$
According to Le-Chatelier Principle, the favorable conditions for manufacturing of ammonia required are the high pressure of and low temperature. This reaction is reversible.
Hydrogen is obtained from natural gas by steam reforming.
$C{H_4} + {H_2}O \to {H_2} + CO$
It is necessary to remove $CO$when ammonia is obtained by Haber’s Process because $CO$ acts as poison for the catalyst used in the manufacturing of ammonia by Haber’s process.
$CO$ acts as poison for the catalyst iron and also for Molybdenum. $CO$ combines with iron catalyst and forms iron carbonyl $Fe{\left( {CO} \right)_5}$. Therefore, it is removed from Haber’s Process.

Note:$CO$ is poisonous for molybdenum and forms carbonyl with catalyst iron which affects the suitability of Haber’s Process.Steam reforming or steam methane reforming is a method for producing syngas (hydrogen and carbon monoxide) by reaction of hydrocarbons with water. Commonly natural gas is the feedstock. The main purpose of this technology is hydrogen production.