Alternative Fenton and Fenton-like systems based on natural Fe oxides are described. The collected materials were modified through controlled reduction with H2 and were characterized by chemical analysis, X-ray diffraction, saturation magnetization measurements, and Mössbauer spectroscopy at 298 and 110 K. The catalytic activities of these original and modified materials were tested by studying the decomposition of H2O2 and the discolouration of methylene blue. Iron oxides present in the samples were mainly hematite and subordinate goethite which, after controlled reduction, were converted to metallic iron and magnetite. The mixture of Fe0 and magnetite in one of these materials was significantly more efficient at H2O2 decomposition and the discolouration of methylene blue than the original Fe3+ oxides. These results suggest that Fe2+ is essential to produce an active Fenton system.

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