Control a Haber-Bosch Ammonia Plant

ammonia truck

Use the Haber process to synthesize ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen. First, adjust the operating parameters on the Control Panel, then click "Run." Try to maximize ammonia (NH3) production and net profit during each 24-hour shift. You can compare runs by pressing the "See Results" button. You also may download a lesson plan and student worksheet.

Control a Haber-Bosch Ammonia Plant

  • 0
    24 Hours
fire
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N2 +
3H2
2NH3
The Factory is running, Please wait!

Control Panelquestion mark

Pressure
Pressure

The higher the system pressure, the higher the yield of ammonia. However, higher pressures increase the cost per ton, reducing profits. And, don't go above 950 atmospheres: The plant may explode!

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Atm
Temperature
Temperature

Find the sweet spot for temperature in the reaction chamber. Lower temperatures increase the yield; higher temperatures increase the rate of reaction but reduce yield.

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oC
Catalyst
Catalyst

Switching to a more expensive catalyst speeds up the reaction time, but adds to costs.

Flow Rate
Flow Rate

Flow rate (Vo) determines how fast the reactants circulate through the synthesis loop. A higher (Vo) produces more ammonia, because ammonia is removed before it can be re-converted back into H2 and N2. However, a high flow rate takes more energy and increases costs.

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Vo
Purge
Purge

Inert gases build up in the closed system and can slow the reaction. Purge removes a portion of the circulating gas so it can be replaced with fresh reactants, but at a cost.

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%
Cooling
Cooling

To extract the finished product, the gas is chilled and ammonia condenses out as a liquid. If the temperature is lowered, output increases, but there's a tradeoff: higher cost per ton.

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oC
NH3 Yield

Partial pressure of ammonia at equilibrium

Time to Equilibrate

Time to reach equilibrium; linked to rate of production

Total Output

Ammonia output of the plant in 24 hours

Market Price of NH3

Can vary depending on demand and cost of materials

Variable Costs

Cost of raw materials and energy consumed per ton

Fixed Costs

Cost of plant operations (labor, etc.) per day

Total Cost per Ton

Fixed + variable costs amortized per ton of product

Net Profit

Profit from the sale of the ammonia made in 24 hours

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Name

Haber-Bosch Ammonia Plant Processing Results

Run Pressure
(Atm)
Temp
(oC)
Catalyst
(Quality)
Flow Rate
(Vo)
Purge
(%)
Cooling
(oC)
NH3 Yield
(%)
Time to
Equilibrate
(Min)
Total Cost
Per Ton
($/Ton)
Total Output
(Tons/Day)
Net Profit
($)
Factory
Status

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