Catalysis in biodiesel production - A review

Baskar Thangaraj, Pravin Raj Solomon, Bagavathi Muniyandi, Srinivasan Ranganathan, Lin Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

359 Scopus citations


Catalysts play a significant role in transesterification of vegetable oils. Currently, chemical and biological catalysts are being investigated, and both have their inherent merits and demerits. In large-scale applications, these catalysts are expected to be cost effective and environmentally friendly. If the catalyst is homogeneous in its physical form it is more effective than is the heterogeneous catalyst, but its separation from the mixture is a major issue. Some of the heterogeneous catalysts suffer leaching in harsh reaction conditions. Of late, nanocatalysts that demonstrate high efficiency are being studed. Nanoparticles are used in biological catalysts as solid carriers for lipase immobilization. Lipase immobilized on magnetic nanoparticles has proved to be a versatile biocatalyst for biodiesel production. This article reviews the role of various catalytic systems commonly used in the transesterification reaction of oils in biodiesel generation.

Original languageBritish English
Pages (from-to)2-23
Number of pages22
JournalClean Energy
Issue number1
StatePublished - 27 Feb 2019


  • biodiesel
  • biological catalysts
  • chemical catalysts
  • renewable energy
  • transesterification


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