The global environmental concerns drive scientists all over the world to develop eco-friendly and sustainable alternatives to techniques and materials commonly used until now for water treatment applications. The relatively novel Additive manufacturing (AM) technology allows to process materials in a custom optimized, cost and time effective manner, while use of biobased materials minimizes the secondary pollution issue. Combining three-dimensional (3D) printing technology and biopolymer-based materials refines the water treatment industry, as it provides tailored water filtration systems easily available in the disadvantaged areas at low environmental impact and cost due to the raw materials’ bio-origin and abundance.
This review highlights the combination of various 3D printing techniques such as Fused deposition modelling (FDM), Direct ink wetting (DIW) and Stereolitography (SLA) with nature-derived biopolymers and biopolymer-based materials including chitosan, Polylactic acid (PLA), alginate and Cellulose acetate (CA) for their potential application within the water treatment industry with emphasis on oil separation and metal removal. Moreover, the environmental impact of the revised biopolymers is briefly discussed.