The Role of Chemistry in History

The Role of Chemistry in History header image 2


April 29th, 2008 · 1 Comment ·

Introduction | Chemical and Physical Properties | Synthesis of Ammonia: The Haber-Bosch Process | A Fertilizer | Ammonia Affects History | Other Uses


Many would be surprised to hear that one of the most significant and important contributions to the well being of humankind over the past two hundred years has been the industrial synthesis of ammonia. Little do people know that their very existence on this earth today may possibly be a result of ammonia.

Since nitrogen is the crucial element for all living organisms and ammonia is a great source of nitrogen, the synthesis of ammonia was greatly sought after. When its synthesis was finally discovered in the early 1900s, it gave birth to the fertilizer industry.

Fertilizers greatly increased crop yields around the world resulting in massive population increases during the 20th century. In the 1990s, synthetic fertilizers were responsible for producing 40% of the world’s food. That means that without ammonia more than 2.2 billion people would not be on this planet today!

Tags: Ammonia