The equation balances nicely, but would the reaction tend to proceed this way? What temperature and time would be needed?

$\ce{Fe2SiO4 + 2H2 -> 2H2O + 2Fe + SiO2}$

There is no problem with supplying the energy to maintain a molten mix under the envisioned scenario, even up to pretty high temperatures. It's a solar furnace on the Moon. It can be left to boil as long as there is sunlight, which in some polar locations would actually be for months, elsewhere for 2 weeks at a time.

I have been trying to narrow the questions I ask here down as I seek an approach to bulk glass production in an advanced lunar colony. In consideration of that, it is important to bear in mind that the entire process is at high temperature and there is no exposure to the atmosphere, other than the gases that come from the mix - the furnace is outside, in the hard vacuum. The steam is pumped off and condensed, and if it is advantageous to maintain low pressure the pumping can achieve that.

  • $\begingroup$ It was helpfully pointed out to me that fayalite reacts with oxygen to produce silica and magnetite. The oxygen is consumed but more can be obtained, although it is an energy intensive process. So, that is another line of investigation. Their opinion was that a question on that regard likely fits better on Earth Science. I'm still researching it before asking something. $\endgroup$
    – kim holder
    Apr 22, 2017 at 17:58
  • $\begingroup$ I assume water is fairly precious also. Fayalite can react with water to form magnetite, silica, and molecular hydrogen. The context is geologic formations, so I think the paper I saw is talking about pretty high pressures and temperatures for this reaction. $\endgroup$
    – airhuff
    Apr 29, 2017 at 20:19


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