The Synthetic Production of Nitric Acid

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    Abstract

    THE recent pronouncement of the German Chancellor, and the statements which have appeared from time to time in the daily Press and in technical journals, respecting the enormous extension in the methods of transforming atmospheric nitrogen into ammonia and nitric acid, which are claimed to have been developed by German chemical engineers, have attracted such widespread attention at the present time on account of the necessary employment of this acid in the manufacture of explosives, that it may not be uninteresting to explain shortly, and in general terms, the main principles of the methods by which such transformation is effected. The actual details of the manufacturing processes now employed in Germany have not been published, and are not likely to be made known for some time to come. But there is little doubt that these processes are, in the main, merely extensions or refinements of methods already established, and in more or less successful operation, at Odda, Notodden, and Christiansand in Norway, at Legnano, near Milan, at La Roche-de-Dame, in the south of France, and at Niagara Falls. Even before the outbreak of the war, factories for the utilisation of atmospheric nitrogen in the manufacture of synthetic ammonia and nitric acid were at work in Westphalia, at Knapsack, near Cologne, at Spandau, and in one or two places in Austria-Hungary. Similar works have been erected, or are in course of erection, in the United States, Switzerland, and Japan.

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    The Synthetic Production of Nitric Acid . Nature 95, 452–454 (1915) doi:10.1038/095452c0

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