A very important industrial reaction. Water gas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, is mixed with steam and run over an iron oxide catalyst at around 400 degrees C to produce more hydrogen and carbon dioxide. This, coupled with the water gas reaction, can produce large amounts of valuable hydrogen from coal and steam, two very cheap raw materials.

The reaction is as follows (the hydrogen already in the water gas feedstock has no effect in this reaction and will be ignored)

CO(g) + H2O(g) --(FeO catalyst)--> CO2(g) + H2(g)

The carbon dioxide can be removed from the mixture by passing it over a hydroxide of an alkali metal, such as sodium.

2NaOH + CO2 ---> Na2CO3 + H2O

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