A thermochemical two-step water splitting cycle using a redox system of iron-based oxides or ferrites is one of the promising processes for converting solar energy into clean hydrogen in sunbelt regions. An iron-containing YSZ (Yttrium-Stabilized Zirconia) or Fe-YSZ is a promising working redox material for the two-step water splitting cycle. The Fe2+ YSZ is formed by a high-temperature reaction between YSZ, and Fe3O4 supported on the YSZ at 1400°C in an inert atmosphere. The Fe2+-YSZ reacts with steam and generate hydrogen at 1000–1100°C, to form Fe3+-YSZ that is re-activated by a thermal reduction in a separate step at temperatures above 1400°C under an inert atmosphere. In the present work, a ceramic foam coated with the Fe-YSZ particles is examined as the thermochemical water splitting device for use in a solardirectly-irradiated receiver/reactor system. The Fe-YSZ particles were coated on an Mg-partially-stabilized zirconia foam disk and the foam device was tested on the two-step water splitting cycle being performed alternately at temperatures between 1100 and 1400°C. The foam device was irradiated by concentrated visible light from a sun-simulator at the peak flux density of 1000 kW/m2 and the average flux density of 470 kW/m2 in a N2 gas stream, and then, was reacted with steam at 1100°C while heating by an infrared furnace. Hydrogen successfully continued to be produced in the repeated cycles.

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