The Contact Process

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The Contact Process for making Sulphuric Acid, best conditions, equations for reactions and uses of Sulphuric Acid.
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11th grade
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1

What is the Contact Process?

It is a process used to make Sulphuric Acid . (The process is named Contact because the gases are in contact with the catalyst.

2

Description of the process.

1) Sulphur or sulphide is burnt in air to make sulphur dioxide (S02). 2) It is then cleaned, dried and heated to 450⁰C,pressure of 2-3 atmospheres and vanadium oxide as a catalyst. 3)Oxygen from air is added to this to make sulphur trioxide (SO3). 4) The sulphur trioxide is dissolved in concentrated sulphuric acid (H2SO4). 5)This is then diluted with water to give various strengths of sulphuric acid.

3

What are the equations for the Contact Process?

1) Making sulphur dioxide S+O2→SO2
2) Making sulphur trioxide 2SO2+O2↔2SO3
3) Making 'oleum' SO3+H2SO4→H2S2O7
4) Making sulphuric acid H2S2O7+H2O→2H2SO4

4

What are the best conditions for the Contact Process?

1) Pressure of about 2-3 atmospheres.
2) Temperature of about 450⁰C.
3) Vanadium oxide as a catalyst.

5

What are the uses of sulphuric acid?

1)Fertilisers
2)Detergents
3)Soaps
4)Dyes
5)Fibres
6)Plastics
7)Paints