How can Le Chatelier's principle help maximize the yield of reactions?
Le Chatelier's Principle can be used in certain reactions to help maximize the yield of a given product. I'm going to use the Haber Process as an example of this.
The Haber Process is a process for making ammonia from elemental nitrogen and hydrogen using an iron catalyst. The reaction is shown below:
Now if my goal is to make as much
Since the forward reaction is exothermic, I can shift my equilibrium to the product side by cooling the reaction environment down,
In addition, because there are 4 molecules of gas reactants on the forward reaction, and only 2 molecules of gas reactants in the reverse reaction; increasing the pressure will cause the forward reaction to proceed faster and shift the equilibrium to the right, again causing more
We could also look at devising a way to remove the
All these examples are ways that Le Chatelier's Principle can be used to maximize the amount of product obtained in a chemical reaction. This process also works on multi-step reactions as well.