Compared to other molecules such as benzene, toluene, xylene, and chlorinated compounds, the catalytic oxidation of formaldehyde has been studied rarely. However, standards for the emission level of this pollutant will become more restrictive because of its extreme toxicity even at very low concentrations in air. As a consequence, the development of a highly efficient process for its selective elimination is needed. Complete catalytic oxidation of formaldehyde into CO2 and H2O using noble-metal-based catalysts is a promising method to convert this pollutant at room temperature, making this process energetically attractive from an industrial point of view. However, the development of a less expensive active phase is required for a large-scale industrial development. Nanomaterials based on oxides of manganese are described as the most promising catalysts. The objective of this Minireview is to present promising recent studies on the removal of formaldehyde through heterogeneous catalysis to stimulate future research in this topic.
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