The current research is focused on the hydrogen production through a two-step ZnO/Zn thermochemical water splitting cycle. In the present paper, numerical modeling of the second step is conducted using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)2, where steam reacts with zinc to produce hydrogen. The parametric study shows that the hydrogen yield is relatively insensitive to the steam/zinc molar ratio and inversely proportional to the argon/steam molar ratio. For large argon to steam molar ratios, hydrogen yield is relatively insensitive to the inlet temperature of zinc and steam, and increases marginally with an increase in the argon inlet temperature. Five different reactor configurations were evaluated comprehensively. Among all configurations, a cylindrical reactor with a tangential inlet for argon and zinc, and a radial inlet for steam (both in the bottom plane of the reactor) and a tangential outlet in the top plane of the reactor produced the highest hydrogen yield of 88%. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.