Processing of novel sintered steels with compositions including oxygen-sensitive elements requires deep understanding of the chemistry of sintering. The use of H2 atmospheres alleviates the oxygen transference from the base powder to the oxygen-sensitive particles. However, in H2, methane formation at 7001200C causes dramatic homogeneous decarburization of the part that affects both mechanical behavior and dimensional stability. The intensity and the critical temperatures of this effect depend strongly on the alloying elements, being significantly enhanced in presence of Si. When combining the alloying elements as Fe-Mn-Si masteralloys, methane formation is enhanced around 760C due to the high Mn content (40 wt.%) in the masteralloys. Nevertheless, the benefits of H2 towards oxide reduction can still be advantageously used if diluting it in the form of N2-H2 atmospheres, or if limiting the use of H2 to temperatures below 500C. Thus, decarburization due to methane formation can be successfully controlled.