Cellulose Nanomaterials in Water Treatment Technologies
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Cellulose nanomaterials are naturally occurring with unique structural, mechanical and optical properties. While the paper and packaging, automotive, personal care, construction, and textiles industries have recognized cellulose nanomaterials' potential, we suggest cellulose nanomaterials have great untapped potential in water treatment technologies. In this review, we gather evidence of cellulose nanomaterials' beneficial role in environmental remediation and membranes for water filtration, including their high surface area-to-volume ratio, low environmental impact, high strength, functionalizability, and sustainability. We make direct comparison between cellulose nanomaterials and carbon nanotubes (CNTs) in terms of physical and chemical properties, production costs, use and disposal in order to show the potential of cellulose nanomaterials as a sustainable replacement for CNTs in water treatment technologies. Finally, we comment on the need for improved communication and collaboration across the myriad industries invested in cellulose nanomaterials production and development to achieve an efficient means to commercialization.
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