NiFe2O4/ZrO2 Core-Shell Nanoparticles for Hydrogen Generation from Thermochemical Water-Splitting Process

A significant number of studies report synthesis of different redox materials and their performance evaluation for thermochemical water-splitting or water/CO2- splitting for H2 or syngas production. As temperatures of thermochemical water-splitting process is typically higher (≥1000°C), nanoparticles of redox materials (e.g. spinel ferrites) undergo sintering and grain growth and eventually lose their reactivity that reflects into decrease in hydrogen volume generation with increase in number of thermochemical cycles. Among the redox materials reported so far, the information on the synthesis of core-shell nanoparticles (CSNs) and their use for thermochemical water-splitting process is meagre. This study reports synthesis of the Ni-ferrite/ZrO2 CSNs using surfactant templating assisted sol-gel method. Asprepared gels with varying Ni-ferrite to Zr-precursor weight ratio of 1:5, 1:10 and 1:25 were aged, dried and calcined at 600°C. As-prepared powdered materials were characterized using powdered x-ray diffraction (XRD), BET specific surface area analyzer and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and used as a packed-bed in
an Inconel tubular reactor to determine hydrogen volume generation from the thermochemical-water splitting process. Hydrogen and oxygen generation capability of CSNs was determined by performing 5 consecutive thermochemical cycles at material regeneration and water-splitting reaction temperatures of 1100°C and 900°C, respectively. CSNs prepared with Ni-ferrite to Zr-precursor weight ratio of 1:10 showed the avg. porous ZrO2 shell thickness of 3.24 nm and this material generated higher average H2 volume.

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Author: Rajesh Shende

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