We discuss the successful use of chemically-modified cellulose paper as a microstructured catalytic reactor for the production of useful chemicals. The chemical modification of cellulose paper was achieved using a silane-coupling technique. Amine-modified paper was directly used as a base catalyst for the Knoevenagel condensation reaction. Methacrylate-modified paper was used for the immobilization of lipase and then in nonaqueous transesterification processes. These catalytic paper materials offer high reaction efficiencies and have excellent practical properties. We suggest that the paper-specific interconnected microstructure with pulp fiber networks provides fast mixing of the reactants and efficient transport of the reactants to the catalytically-active sites. This concept is expected to be a promising route to green and sustainable chemistry.
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