Applications of cellulose-based agents for flocculation processes: a bibliometric analysis

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Not surprisingly, cellulose-based agents for wastewater treatments, and more precisely for coagulation-flocculation processes, raise growing interest, boosted not only by the high availability, functionality, renewability, and biodegradability of cellulose, but also by the outstanding performance of their derivatives. The analysis of 460 publications including review papers, research articles and book chapters, among others, reveals a multidisciplinary approach, where the fields Materials Science, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Environmental Science play a major role. In terms of institutions, some of the most relevant contributors are the Wuhan University, Zhejiang Sci-Tech University, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, to name a few. The most relevant journals were found to be Carbohydrate Polymers, International Journal of Applied Polymer Science and Cellulose. An analysis of 332 keywords allowed us to classify works into three major clusters (besides two minor ones): one mostly defined by cellulose and coagulation; a second one championed by flocculation and cellulose derivatives; and a third one including wastewater treatment and polysaccharides. While the evolution of the scientific production leaves little doubt about it, as depicted in this bibliometric study, this is the first work providing an in-depth assessment and classification of the literature on cellulose for particle aggregation purposes.
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