Comparative study of electroreduction of iron oxide using acidic and alkaline electrolytes for sustainable iron production

Akmal Irfan Majid, Niels van Graefschepe, Giulia Finotello (Corresponding author), John van der Schaaf, Niels G. Deen, Yali Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

Sustainable iron production is largely driven by the urgency to reduce the extensive energy consumption and emissions in the iron/steel sectors. Low temperature electroreduction of iron oxide technology is thus revived since it directly utilizes (green) electrical energy with a competitive energy consumption compared to the thermochemical reduction approach. In the present work, we perform theoretical and experimental studies for comparison of electroreduction of iron oxide in aqueous alkaline and acidic electrolytes. Electrochemical reduction and deposition behavior are experimentally investigated using a lab scale cell containing an electrolyte suspended with micron-sized Fe2O3 (hematite) powders. The effects of current density and hematite mass fraction on current efficiency are evaluated, as well as the total energy consumption. Results of chronopotentiometry and cyclic voltammograms (CV) reveal the electrochemical properties of each system. The CV’s cathodic peaks, corresponding to the reduction of iron oxides to iron, are observed only in the alkaline system where the iron oxide can be reduced at about − 1.4 V (vs. Ag/AgCl). It is also found that the alkaline system has higher current efficiency (25–30% higher) and lower energy consumption (~30% lower) than the acidic system. The cleaning of the deposit is also easier for the alkaline system, resulting in an iron product of high purity. Concerning the electrochemical performances and practicality, the alkaline electroreduction system shows promising potential for sustainable iron production.
Original languageEnglish
Article number142942
Number of pages10
JournalElectrochimica Acta
Volume467
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Akmal Irfan Majid acknowledges a scholarship for the doctoral program from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia through a “BPP-LN” scholarship scheme, contract number: B/823/D3.2/KD.02.01/2019. The authors sincerely thank people from the SPE Group of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry (CEC) of TU Eindhoven, among them are Rodrigo Lira Garcia Barros, PD. Eng., Dr. M.T. (Thijs) de Groot, and Dr. Amin Delparish for valuable technical discussions, also Ing. Carlo Buijs and Ing. Peter Lipman for their technical support during the experimental works. We are also indebted to Niek van Rooij from Metalot for helping us with particle size measurement.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023

Funding

Akmal Irfan Majid acknowledges a scholarship for the doctoral program from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia through a “BPP-LN” scholarship scheme, contract number: B/823/D3.2/KD.02.01/2019. The authors sincerely thank people from the SPE Group of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry (CEC) of TU Eindhoven, among them are Rodrigo Lira Garcia Barros, PD. Eng., Dr. M.T. (Thijs) de Groot, and Dr. Amin Delparish for valuable technical discussions, also Ing. Carlo Buijs and Ing. Peter Lipman for their technical support during the experimental works. We are also indebted to Niek van Rooij from Metalot for helping us with particle size measurement.

FundersFunder number
Ministry of Education, Culture, Research, and Technology of the Republic of IndonesiaB/823/D3.2/KD.02.01/2019

    Keywords

    • Iron oxide reduction
    • Electrodeposition
    • Dendrites
    • Sustainable ironmaking
    • Metal fuels

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