What is NITROGEN FIXATION?

Of the various processes for the socalled fixation of nitrogen, some depend upon the direct union of nitrogen with oxygen under the influence of the electric arc at a temperature of about 3,000 degrees C., but these can only be economically carried out where cheap and abundant supply of waterpower is available for production of the requisite electric energy. When a current of a:r is passed rapidly through the electric arc, nitrogen peroxide is formed, and at ordinary temperatures and in the piesence of water this product is partially convertible into nitric acid. The Ilausser process, which is at present in the experimental stage, is one in which the heat caused by the explosion of a mixture of combustible gas and air is used to bring about the union of nitrogen and oxygen, oxides of nitrogen being produced which can be absorbed in water whilst power is generated simultaneously. The nitrous gases produced by these methods are passed into vertical iron cylinders lined with acidproof stone in which the nitric oxide previously produced is oxidized by atmospheric oxygen into nitric peroxide, the gases being finally condensed by contact with water in washing towers into nitric acid. Nitric acid is also produced to some extent on a commercial scale by the oxidation of ammonia, and there are considerable expectations based upon this method of production by catalytic agents, including platinum gauze. In this process, a mixture of air and ammonia, containing about ro per cent, of the latter, is passed through platinum gauze placed between washers of asbestos board or nickelchrome sheet, heated in the first place by a plumber

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Definition of  NITROGEN FIXATION