The Process (Haber-Bosch):
In large scale commercial ammonia production plants the feed
stock which makes up the reactants are water, methane and air. Through a series of chemical processes the feedstock is converted
to nitrogen, hydrogen and carbon dioxide. After removal of the waste carbon dioxide, the remaining mixture of nitrogen and
hydrogen is called "synthesis gas". The synthesis gas enters the ammonia reactor, where it undergoes the synthesis reaction
The synthesis reactor consists of a number of beds containing
the catalyst through which the reactants pass and are converted to ammonia under equilibrium conditions. Because the reaction
is exothermic, heat is removed by coolers (heat exchangers). This ensures that the maximum amount of ammonia is converted.
At the end of the reactor a stream of mixed gas (ammonia + nitrogen
+ hydrogen) is removed and cooled. The cooled ammonia condenses and is separated from the other gas which is then returned
to the reactor for reprocessing. This is a continous process - at the one end ammonia is continuously removed and this is
balanced by new "synthesis gas" which is continously added to the reactor.