Partial oxidation of methane and water splitting for hydrogen production were carried out. The reaction kinetics of reduction and oxidation (redox) of Mn and Zn iron oxides were determined using a thermogravimetric analyzer. The reduction conversion of the metal oxides increases with temperature above 1073 K and all the experimental data are well represented by the diffusion-limited mechanism except ZnFe(2)O(4) due to the solid state diffusion of iron and the reaction with solid carbon. The oxidation reaction was also controlled by the product-layer diffusion mechanism. Substitution of Mn and Zn cations with iron oxides can lower the reaction temperature and increase the reaction rate. The reaction rate and the activation energy (57-110 kJ/mol) for decomposition of water by oxidation of the metal oxides were also determined. (C) 2008 International Association for Hydrogen Energy. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.