Arts and Sciences
The Valparaiso University Solar Research Project utilizes a solar thermal decoupled electrolysis process for the production of H2 from water. This study focuses on the electrochemical conversion of magnetite to hematite during the H2 production process. Laboratory experiments show that the expected amount of H2 gas forms at the cathode of the electrolytic cell, but we have encountered difficulties recovering the expected amount of solid hematite at the anode. An intensive study of the complex solution chemistry using cyclic voltammetry, Mossbauer spectroscopy, and solubility modeling showed that several dissolved iron species potentially exist in solution. Further work must be done to clarify which species are key participants in the overall electrochemical reaction. This information will help us to determine and implement reaction conditions that are favorable for precipitation of hematite or other oxidized iron species.
Otto, Jordan; Beyers, Evan; Larson, Carol; Schoer, Jonathan; and Palumbo, Robert, "Solar Hydrogen Production by Solar Thermal Decoupled Electrolysis: Analysis of FE3O4 in Solution" (2014). Symposium on Undergraduate Research and Creative Expression (SOURCE). 349.