Reactivity of iron oxide as an oxygen carrier for chemical-looping hydrogen production

Won Chul Cho, Myung Won Seo, Sang Done Kim, Kyoung Soo Kang, Ki Kwang Bae, Change Hee Kim, Seong Uk Jeong, Chu Sik Park

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41 Scopus citations


The three-reactor chemical-looping (TRCL) process is a three-step water-splitting cycle for production of hydrogen with intrinsic CO 2 separation. Iron oxide (Fe 2O 3), a metal oxide acting as an oxygen carrier, is a strong reducing agent for steam circulating through reactors in the TRCL process. In the present study, the reactivity of iron oxide (20 wt% Fe 2O 3/ZrO 2) was determined in a batch reactor by exposing it to reducing and oxidizing conditions to simulate the TRCL process in a moving bed operation. The minimum steam fraction in the CH 4/H 2O mixture and the reduction rate were determined under a reducing atmosphere. The water conversion and the oxidation rate were obtained under oxidizing conditions. Based on the reactivity data, key parameters such as bed inventory and the solid circulation rate of the system according to the extent of the solid conversion were calculated. It is found that 170-220 kg/MW th and 300-1410 kg/MW th of oxygen carriers are needed in the fuel and steam reactor, respectively. The solid circulation rate through the reactors was calculated as 2-4 kg/s-MW th. The bed inventory showed a minimum value when the iron oxide was reduced to FeO 0.5 by methane and then oxidized to FeO by steam.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16852-16863
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • CO separation
  • Hydrogen
  • Iron oxide (Fe O )
  • Redox reaction
  • Three-reactor chemical-looping (TRCL)


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