Iron oxidation kinetics for H2 and CO production via chemical looping

R. C. Stehle, M. M. Bobek, D. W. Hahn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Solar driven production of fuels by means of an intermediate reactive metal for species splitting has provided a practical and potentially efficient pathway for disassociating molecules at significantly lower thermal energies. The fuels of interest are of or derive from the separation of oxygen from H2O and CO2 to form hydrogen and carbon monoxide, respectively. The following study focuses on iron oxidation through water and CO2 splitting to explore the fundamental reaction kinetics and kinetic rates that are relevant to these processes. In order to properly characterize the reactive metal potential and to optimize a scaled-up solar reactor system, a monolith-based laboratory reactor was implemented to investigate reaction temperatures over a range from 990 to 1400 K. The presence of a single, solid monolith as a reacting surface allowed for a limitation in mass transport effects in order to monitor kinetically driven reaction steps. The formation of oxide layers on the iron monoliths followed Cabrera-Mott models for oxidation of metals with kinetic rates being measured using real-time mass spectrometry to calculate kinetic constants and estimate oxide layer thicknesses. Activation energies of 47.3 kJ/mol and 32.8 kJ/mol were found for water-splitting and CO2 splitting, respectively, and the conclusions of the independent oxidation reactions where applied to experimental results for syngas (H2-CO) production to explore ideal process characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1675-1689
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 30 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • CO production
  • CO-splitting
  • Hydrogen production
  • Magnetite
  • Steam-iron process
  • Water splitting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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