To enhance the catalytic activities of zeolites for the polycondensation reactions of humic precursors, Fe was loaded into a zeolite via an ion-exchange reaction and the resulting product was subjected to calcination at 773 K. Two types iron-loaded zeolites were prepared using one equivalent (Fe-Z-1) and 10-equivalents (Fe-Z-10) of Fe2+ to the cation-exchange capacity of a natural zeolite from Niki town (Hokkaido, Japan). X-ray diffraction (XRD) patterns and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) spectra showed that the Fe(II) that was originally loaded into the cation-exchange sites in the zeolite became oxidized to a Fe(III) ionic species during the preparation. The catalytic activities of each zeolite were evaluated, based on the degree of darkening for reaction mixtures containing catechol, glycine and glucose as model humic precursors. The catalytic activities of Fe-Z-1 and Fe-Z-10 were higher than that for an untreated zeolite, and increased with the amount of Fe in the zeolite.

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