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A critical review of cellulose-based nanomaterials for water purification in industrial processes

  • Dong WangEmail author
Review Paper


At present, natural polymers have found applications in clothing, paper, medicine, fuel, etc. The advancement in science and technology has paved the way for nanotechnology, which combines the unique properties of these abundant polymers on a nanoscale to produce novel nanomaterials. Using mechanical or chemical treatment, cellulosic materials can be converted into cellulose nanofibers and nanocrystals which have excellent capabilities compared to microscale native cellulose fibers, especially in water purification applications. This review summarizes the most recent processing methods for nanocellulose and techniques employed for rational surface chemical modification. It also critically assesses the applications of cellulose-based nanomaterials with respect to their functionalization for removal of pollutants such as heavy metals, organic compounds and pharmaceutical residues from water.

Graphical abstract


Nanocellulose Water purification Cellulose membrane Heavy metal Cellulose nanomaterials 



This research was supported by Natural Science Foundation of China (51608350).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Environmental and Municipal Engineering, Tianjin Key Laboratory of Aquatic Science and TechnologyTianjin Chengjian UniversityTianjinPeople’s Republic of China

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