An old solution to a new problem? Hydrogen generation by the reaction of ferrosilicon with aqueous sodium hydroxide solutions

The chemical hydrogen storage properties of ferrosilicon were investigated. A hydrogen yield of ~4.75 wt.% (with respect to the mass of ferrosilicon) was estimated by the reaction of varying quantities of ferrosilicon with 5 mL of 40 wt.% sodium hydroxide solution. The reaction of ferrosilicon with aqueous sodium hydroxide solution to form hydrogen was found to have an activation energy of 90.5 kJ mol −1 by means of an Arrhenius plot. It was observed that the induction period of the hydrogen generation reaction varies exponentially with temperature. Although this combination of high activation energy and a lengthy induction period at low temperatures reduces the attractiveness of ferrosilicon for portable hydrogen storage applications unless methods can be developed to accelerate the onset and rate of hydrogen generation, its low cost and widespread availability make it attractive for further studies focused on higher temperature stationary applications.