A two-step water-splitting thermochemical cycle using redox working material of iron-based oxide (ferrite) particles has been developed for converting solar energy into hydrogen. The two-step thermochemical cycle for producing a solar hydrogen from water requires a development of a high temperature solar-specific receiver-reactor operating at 1000–1500°C. In the present work, ferrite-loaded ceramic foams with a high porosity (7 cells per linear inch) were prepared as a water splitting device by applying ferrite/zirconia particles on a MgO-partially stabilized Zirconia (MPSZ) ceramic foam. The water splitting foam device was prepared using a new method of spin coating. A spin coating method we newly employed that has advantages of shortening preparation period and reducing of the coating process in comparison to previous preparation method reported. The water-splitting foam devices, thus prepared, were examined on hydrogen productivity and reactivity through a two-step thermochemical cycle. NiFe2O4/m-ZrO2/MPSZ and Fe3O4/c-YSZ/MPSZ foam devices were firstly tested for thermal reduction of ferrite using the laboratory scale receiver-reactor by a sun-simulator to simulate concentrated solar radiation. Subsequently, with another quartz reactor the light-irradiated device was reacted with steam by infrared furnace. As a result, it was possible to perform cyclic reactions over several times and to produce hydrogen through thermal-reduction at 1500°C and water-decomposition at 1100–1200°C. In further experiments, the NiFe2O4/m-ZrO2/MPSZ foam device was successfully demonstrated in a windowed single reactor for cyclic hydrogen production by solar-simulated Xebeam irradiation with input power of 1 kW. The NiFe2O4/m-ZrO2/MPSZ foam device produced hydrogen of 70–190μmol per gram of device through 6 cycles and reached ferrite conversion of 60% at a maximum.

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