AbstractThis article describes a facile method for the preparation of cellulosic catalyst paper: the in situ synthesis of gold nanoparticles (AuNPs) on zinc oxide (ZnO) whiskers, the preferential support for AuNPs, preloaded into a paper matrix. The ZnO paper composites were fabricated using a high-speed and low-cost paper-making technique, and immersed in an aqueous solution of HAuCl4. After drying, fine 5 nm AuNPs were successfully formed on the ZnO whiskers inside the paper matrix. As-prepared AuNPs@ZnO whisker-containing paper (AuNPs@ZnO paper) is similar to ordinary paper products, being flexible, lightweight, and easy to handle. The AuNPs@ZnO paper exhibited a high catalytic efficiency towards the reduction of 4-nitrophenol to 4-aminophenol in aqueous media. Furthermore, the addition of a polyamideamine epichlorohydrin resin provided a wet strength to the AuNPs@ZnO paper, which enables several catalyst recycles with no significant losses in catalytic activity.