Oxidation reaction kinetics for the steam-iron process in support of hydrogen production

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


A hydrogen generation research program is focused on solar-driven hydrogen production by means of reactive metal water splitting. In order to dissociate water molecules at significantly reduced thermal energies as well as providing a practical means for efficient hydrogen and oxygen separation, an intermediary reactive material is introduced to realize water splitting in the form of an oxidation reaction. Elemental iron is used as the reactive material in the process commonly referred to as the steam-iron process. In order to exploit the unique characteristics of highly reactive materials and ultimately achieve the potential efficiency gains at the solar reactor scale, a monolithic laboratory-scale reactor has been designed to explore the fundamental kinetic rates during the iron oxidation reaction at temperatures ranging from about 650 to 900 K. Results show hydrogen production rates on the order of 1E-8 g/cm 2 s. Micro-Raman spectroscopy is used to access information on the exact iron oxide phase produced, and high resolution SEM and electron dispersion spectroscopy (EDS) are used to assess the oxide morphology and further quantify the oxide state, including spatial distributions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15125-15135
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number23
StatePublished - Nov 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Hematite
  • 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


Dive into the research topics of 'Oxidation reaction kinetics for the steam-iron process in support of hydrogen production'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this