Metal oxide-based photocatalytic paper: A green alternative for environmental remediation

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The interest in advanced photocatalytic technologies with metal oxide-based nanomaterials has been growing exponentially over the years due to their green and sustainable characteristics. Photocatalysis has been employed in several applications ranging from the degradation of pollutants to water splitting, CO2 and N2 reductions, and microorganism inactivation. However, to maintain its eco-friendly aspect, new solutions must be identified to ensure sustainability. One alternative is creat-ing an enhanced photocatalytic paper by introducing cellulose-based materials to the process. Paper can participate as a substrate for the metal oxides, but it can also form composites or membranes, and it adds a valuable contribution as it is environmentally friendly, low-cost, flexible, recyclable, lightweight, and earth abundant. In term of photocatalysts, the use of metal oxides is widely spread, mostly since these materials display enhanced photocatalytic activities, allied to their chemical stability, non-toxicity, and earth abundance, despite being inexpensive and compatible with low-cost wet-chemical synthesis routes. This manuscript extensively reviews the recent developments of using photocatalytic papers with nanostructured metal oxides for environmental remediation. It focuses on titanium dioxide (TiO2) and zinc oxide (ZnO) in the form of nanostructures or thin films. It discusses the main characteristics of metal oxides and correlates them to their photocatalytic activity. The role of cellulose-based materials on the systems’ photocatalytic performance is extensively discussed, and the future perspective for photocatalytic papers is highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number504
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 16 Apr 2021


  • Cellulose-based materials
  • Environmental remediation
  • Green and sustain-able
  • Metal oxide nanostructures
  • Photocatalysis


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