Definitions for haber process

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Princeton's WordNet

  1. Haber process, Haber-Bosch process(noun)

    an industrial process for producing ammonia from nitrogen and hydrogen by combining them under high pressure in the presence of an iron catalyst

Freebase

  1. Haber process

    The Haber process, also called the Haber–Bosch process, is the industrial implementation of the reaction of nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas. It is the main industrial route to ammonia:−1 Nitrogen is a critical limiting mineral nutrient in plant growth. Carbon and oxygen are also critical, but are easily obtained by plants from soil and air. Even though air is 78% nitrogen, atmospheric nitrogen is nutritionally unavailable because nitrogen molecules are held together by strong triple bonds. Nitrogen must be 'fixed', i.e. converted into some bioavailable form, through natural or man-made processes. It was not until the early 20th century that Fritz Haber developed the first practical process to convert atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia, which is nutritionally available. Prior to the discovery of the Haber process, ammonia had been difficult to produce on an industrial scale. Fertilizer generated from ammonia produced by the Haber process is estimated to be responsible for sustaining one-third of the Earth's population. It is estimated that half of the protein within human beings is made of nitrogen that was originally fixed by this process; the remainder was produced by nitrogen fixing bacteria and archaea.

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