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The Mechanism of the Catalysed Reaction

The slowest process is the adsorption of nitrogen to give adsorbed nitrogen atoms, Nads, not so much because of the activation energy, but because of the low probability that nitrogen molecules collide with an active site and are bonded.

diagram: how an iron catalyst affects nitrogen

Think about the entropy changes involved in the process of adsorbing nitrogen gas molecules and chemically binding them to the catalyst surface. Will it be positive or negative?

How will this affect the probability of the process occurring?

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The catalyst surface adsorbs nitrogen and hydrogen, increasing the likelihood they will react. This diagram illustrates the process.