A two-step thermochemical water splitting cycle using a redox system of non-volatile metal oxide is one of the promising processes for converting concentrated solar high-temperature heat into clean hydrogen in sun-belt regions. In the 1st step of the cycle or the thermal reduction step, metal oxide is thermally reduced to release oxygen molecules in an inert gas atmosphere at a higher temperature above 1400°C. In the second step or the water-decomposition step at a lower temperature, the thermally-reduced metal oxide reacts with steam to produce hydrogen. As the reactive redox metal oxide materials to be capable of working below 1400°C, nickel-doped iron oxides or Ni-ferrites supported on zirconia, and non-stoichiometric cerium oxides are the promising working materials. In the present work, a series of the nickel-ferrite redox materials of monoclinic-zirconia-supported, cubic-YSZ(yttrium-stabilized zirconia)-supported, and non-supported Ni-ferries and non-stoichiometric cerium oxide were compared on reactivity for two-step thermochemical water splitting cycle. The monoclinic-zirconia-supported Ni-ferrite produced the most quantity of hydrogen in the repeated cycles when the thermal reduction step was performed for 30 min at 1400°C and the water decomposition step for 60 min at 1000°C.

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