Sustainable biodiesel generation through catalytic transesterification of waste sources: A literature review and bibliometric survey

Walid Nabgan, Aishah Abdul Jalil*, Bahador Nabgan, Arvind H. Jadhav, Muhammad Ikram*, Anwar Ul-Hamid, Mohamad Wijayanuddin Ali, Nurul Sahida Hassan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Sustainable renewable energy production is being intensely disputed worldwide because fossil fuel resources are declining gradually. One solution is biodiesel production via the transesterification process, which is environmentally feasible due to its low-emission diesel substitute. Significant issues arising with biodiesel production are the cost of the processes, which has stuck its sustainability and the applicability of different resources. In this article, the common biodiesel feedstock such as edible and non-edible vegetable oils, waste oil and animal fats and their advantages and disadvantages were reviewed according to the Web of Science (WOS) database over the timeframe of 1970-2020. The biodiesel feedstock has water or free fatty acid, but it will produce soap by reacting free fatty acids with an alkali catalyst when they present in high portion. This reaction is unfavourable and decreases the biodiesel product yield. This issue can be solved by designing multiple transesterification stages or by employing acidic catalysts to prevent saponification. The second solution is cheaper than the first one and even more applicable because of the abundant source of catalytic materials from a waste product such as rice husk ash, chicken eggshells, fly ash, red mud, steel slag, and coconut shell and lime mud. The overview of the advantages and disadvantages of different homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts is summarized, and the catalyst promoters and prospects of biodiesel production are also suggested. This research provides beneficial ideas for catalyst synthesis from waste for the transesterification process economically, environmentally and industrially.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1604-1627
Number of pages24
JournalRSC Advances
Issue number3
StatePublished - 10 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Royal Society of Chemistry.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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