Electric Power for Nitrogen Fixation

E. Kilburn Scott
1918 Transactions of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers  
OF PAPER Reference is made to propaganda against processes for making nitrates from air by those interested in keeping the Allies dependant on supplies of nitrate from Chili. A tabular comparison is made of the operations involved in the indirect method and the direct method of fixing nitrogen. The indirect method involves the manufacture of carbide of calcium and its combination with nitrogen to form calcium cyanimid, from which ammonia and in turn nitric acid are obtained. The direct method
more » ... The direct method merely consists in combining nitrogen and oxygen of the air in the electric arc. In the direct method electric energy is the only factor, whereas by the indirect much plant of a very diverse and complicated character is required. Also there are difficulties in connection with the platinum catalyst necessary to convert ammonia into nitric acid. It is claimed that the direct method is better because of the simplicity of plant and of operation, and the possi-
doi:10.1109/t-aiee.1918.4765567 fatcat:xqdqzpxymzgmxgsi4s5q7yujtu