Photocatalysis has proven to be highly effective for the removal of recalcitrant organic micropollutants at the lab scale. However, drawbacks such as the need for downstream removal of nanoparticle slurries and low surface areas of immobilised catalyst have, so far, hindered large-scale application. Photocatalytic foams have the potential to address these issues and advance the field towards large scale deployment. This review offers the first comprehensive overview of the state-of-the-art in this growing research field while simultaneously addressing two key issues which are slowing down further progress: The lack of classification nomenclature for foams, particularly regarding pore size and production method, and the use of kinetics as the defining feature of a photocatalyst, when alternate figures of merit, such electrical and quantum efficiencies, may be more appropriate. These were particular evident from a semi-quantitative comparison of the literature reported here, which highlighted the need for standardisation of experimental methods within the field. Finally future perspectives and best practices are discussed and recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109238
JournalJournal of Environmental Chemical Engineering
Issue number1
Early online date27 Dec 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors are grateful for EPSRC for funding support (Grant No. EP/P031382/1 ).

Funding Information:
ZW acknowledges The University of Bath for funding his Ph.D.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors.


  • Foams
  • Photocatalysis
  • Photocatalysts
  • Water treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemical Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Process Chemistry and Technology


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