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Question

Write balanced equations for the three chemical reactions that take place during the conversion of sulphur dioxide to sulphuric acid in the contact process. Name the catalyst used in the contact process.

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Solution

Conversion of sulphur dioxide to sulphuric acid occurs according to the following steps:

  1. Catalytic oxidation of sulphur dioxide: 2SO2 + O2 2 atm, 450-5000CV2O5 2SO3 + Heat

  2. Formation of oleum (H2S2O7 ): SO3 + H2SO4 → H2S2O7

  3. Dilution of oleum: H2S2O7 + H2O → 2H2SO4

Platinum or vanadium pentaoxide is commonly used as the catalyst in the contact process.


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