Gels. 2022 Apr 26;8(5):270. doi: 10.3390/gels8050270.
With the development of science and technology, photocatalytic technology is of great interest. Nanosized photocatalysts are easy to agglomerate in an aqueous solution, which is unfavorable for recycling. Therefore, hydrogel-based photocatalytic composites were born. Compared with other photocatalytic carriers, hydrogels have a three-dimensional network structure, high water absorption, and a controllable shape. Meanwhile, the high permeability of these composites is an effective way to promote photocatalysis technology by inhibiting nanoparticle photo corrosion, while significantly ensuring the catalytic activity of the photocatalysts. With the growing energy crisis and limited reserves of traditional energy sources such as oil, the attention of researchers was drawn to natural polymers. Like almost all abundant natural polymer compounds in the world, cellulose has the advantages of non-toxicity, degradability, and biocompatibility. It is used as a class of reproducible crude material for the preparation of hydrogel photocatalytic composites. The network structure and high hydroxyl active sites of cellulose-based hydrogels improve the adsorption performance of catalysts and avoid nanoparticle collisions, indirectly enhancing their photocatalytic performance. In this paper, we sum up the current research progress of cellulose-based hydrogels. After briefly discussing the properties and preparation methods of cellulose and its descendant hydrogels, we explore the effects of hydrogels on photocatalytic properties. Next, the cellulose-based hydrogel photocatalytic composites are classified according to the type of catalyst, and the research progress in different fields is reviewed. Finally, the challenges they will face are summarized, and the development trends are prospected.