1. Fritz Haber and The Haber Process . Fritz Haber, a German, received the Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1919 for synthesizing ammonia from its elements, nitrogen and hydrogen. Haber’s life was filled with ironic tragedies. His motivation for developing a method for producing ammonia was to make possible unlimited supplies of fertilizer to replace the limited supply of natural fertilizers (from nitrate deposits in Chile). Many were predicting massive starvation in Europe unless this was done. Ironically, ammonia could also be used to produce explosives. As a result Germany was able to produce its own explosives during World War I despite a blockade of nitrate compounds by the Allied powers.Haber was a patriot and German nationalist and as a consequence threw himself into the German war effort. One of his contributions was development of mustard gas, a horrible instrument of war that caused much suffering. Ironically, many compounds related to mustard gas have been use as anti-cancer agents, ultimately saving lives. The Nobel Prize he received was criticized by British, American, and French scientists. A final irony in Haber’s life occurred when he was driven out of Germany before World War II because of his Jewish ancestry, despite his proven loyalty to his country.
2. Who was LeChatelier? Henry Louis LeChatelier (1850-1936) was a French chemist who conducted research on chemical equilibrium, the combustion of gaseous mixtures on metals, alloys, etc. He enunciated his principle dealing with the equilibrium of a system as a result of study of the industrial production of iron. Iron oxides were heated with carbon monoxide in a blast furnace to produce iron and carbon dioxide. However, carbon monoxide was also found in the products. This puzzling finding was explained in various ways. After researching the problem, LeChatelier proposed the idea of a reversible reaction to account for the carbon monoxide.
1. Bumper Sticker (American Chemical Society, Office of Precollege Science, Room 806; 1155 Sixteenth Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20036) Old Chemists Never Die . . . . They Just Reach
2. Student response on exam: LeChatelier‘s Principle is, if a strain is applied on a substance, the substance will try to assume the most comfortable condition.
3. The meaning of “reversible reaction”? Starting material recovered. (CHEM 13 NEWS, October 1970, p. 193)
4. Word Search (see Appendix for master copy)
Words about the concepts in this module can be obtained from the clues given. Find these words in the block of letters:
1. Change in the reaction conditions of an established equilibrium.
2. State of a chemical system such that the rates of formation of products and reactants are equal.
3. German chemist who synthesized Item 6 from nitrogen and hydrogen.
4. Characteristic of an equilibrium system.
5. Factor that can cause a shift in a gaseous system at chemical equilibrium.
6. Substance formed in the nitrogen plus hydrogen gaseous equilibrium.
7. Type of reaction in which heat is absorbed by products to reform reactants. 8. Metal in complex responsible for pink-to-blue color change as temperature changes.
9. Balanced see-saw represents this type of equilibrium.
10. French chemist for which a famous principle of equilibrium is named.
Answers: 1. STRESS 2. EQUILIBRIUM 3. HABER 4. REVERSIBILITY 5. PRESSURE 6. AMMONIA 7. EXOTHERMIC 8. COBALT 9. STATIC 10. LECHATELIER
5. See cartoons at end of module.
1. Chemistry: Reaction Rates and Equilibrium, 23 min. video available from Coronet/NTI Film and Video, 108 Wilmot Road, Deerfield, IL 60015; (800) 621-2131; (708) 940-3640 (FAX).
2. Equilibrium, CHEM Study film/video available from Ward’s Natural Science Establishment, Inc., 5100 West Henrietta Road, P.O. Box 92912, Rochester, NY 14692-9012; (800) 2660.
3. Introduction to Chemical Equilibrium, Chem 101 Series, University of Illinois Visual Aids Service, 1325 South Oak, Champaign, IL 61820; (800) 367-3456.
4. Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd. Laws of Disorder, Pt 4: Equilibrium: The Limit of Disorder. ICI Film Library, Thames House North, Mill Bank London SW1P 40G. (Held at University of Minnesota, University Film & Video, 1313 Fifth St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, 1-800-847-8241.)
5. TV Ontario: Chemical Equilibrium. Six 10-minute video programs with a guide covering various aspects of equilibrium. TVO Video, 143 West Franklin Street, Suite 206, Chapel Hill, NC 27516, 1-800-331-9566.
6. The World of Chemistry videotape “Number 14: Molecules in Motion.” World of Chemistry Videocassettes. Annenberg/CPB Project, P.O. Box 1922, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1922; (800) 532-7637; World of Chemistry Series, Atlantic Video, 150 South Gordon Street, Alexandria, VA 22304; (703) 823-2800 or QUEUE Educational Video, 338 Commerce Drive, Fairfield, CT 06430; (800) 232-2224. A secondary school version of this series is available from WINGS for Learning/SUNBURST, 101 Castleton Street, Pleasantville, NY 10570; (914) 747-3310; (800) 321-7511; (914) 747-4109 (FAX).
7. Software published by JCE: Software, a publication of the Journal of Chemical Education, Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1101 University Avenue. Madison, Wl 53706-1396: (608) 262-5153 (voice) or (608) 262-0381 (FAX).
a. Equilibrium Calculator, by Robert D. Allendoerfer. Vol. VI B, No. 1, for IBM PS/2 PC-compatible computers. b. Equilibrium Calculator, by Robert D. Allendoerfer. Vol. I D, No. 1, for Windows/IBM PC.
8. Software published by Project SERAPHIM, Department of Chemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1101 University Avenue. Madison, Wl 53706-1396: (608) 263-2837 (voice) or (608) 262-0381 (FAX).
a. For the IBM PS/2 PC-compatible computer: PC 2901 (Equilibrium simulation program where user inputs data; concentration of each species after each given increment is given numerically or as bar graphs until equilibrium is reached.)
b. For the Apple II computer: AP 603 (same as PC 2901).
9. Metcalfe, H., et al. (1986). Modern chemistry: Disk for equilibrium chapter. New York, NY: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.
10. Prentice-Hall: Dynamic Equilibrium. 4343 Equity Drive, P.O. Box 2649, Columbus, OH 43216.
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