The use of cellulose in the form of filter paper is known for long. Still, we see limited use in water purification since most of the impurities flow through a standard filter paper. What happens if we use cellulose micro- or nanofibers instead to make paper or flat sheets? How do these sustainable materials perform in water purification applications? Our guest writer, Assoc. Prof. Aji Mathew, shares her thoughts.
Among the many potential applications of cellulosic nanomaterials, one of the most promising is the use of microfibrillated cellulose (MFC) to enhance the surface of paper products. The vast majority of paper products, from cardstock to fast-food packaging, receive some type of functional coating during manufacturing to improve end-use performance. Coatings can impart many different properties to paper products, including water, oil and grease resistance, reproduction quality, absorbency and smoothness. Many different materials are used to coat paper surfaces ranging from minerals, natural and synthetic binders, and polymers.