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Ostwald process

The Ostwald process is a commercial process, invented by Wilhelm Ostwald, used to produce nitric acid. Ammonia is heated with a catalyst (platinum) to form nitric oxide that is then oxidized to yield nitrogen dioxide, which in turn reacts with water to yield nitric acid and nitric oxide:

2 NH3 + 4 O2 --> 2 NO + 3 H2O

2 NO + O2 --> NO2

2 NO2 + 1/2 O2 + H2O --> 2 HNO3(aq)



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