An attractive alternative to the use of fossil fuels is biodiesel, which can be obtained from a variety of feedstock through different transesterification systems such as ultrasound, microwave, biological, chemical, among others. The efficient and cost-effective biodiesel production depends on several parameters such as free fatty acid content in the feedstock, transesterification reaction efficiency, alcohol:oil ratio, catalysts type, and several parameters during the production process. However, biodiesel production from vegetable oils is under development, causing the final price of biodiesel to be higher than diesel derived from petroleum. An alternative to decrease the production costs will be the use of economical feedstocks and simple production processes. Castor oil is an excellent raw material in terms of price and quality, but especially this non-edible vegetable oil does not have any issues or compromise food security. Recently, the use of castor oil has attracted attention for producing and optimizing biodiesel production, due to high content of ricinoleic fatty acid and the possibility to esterify with only methanol, which assures low production costs. Additionally, biodiesel from castor oil has different advantages over conventional diesel. Some of them are biodegradable, non-toxic, renewable, they can be used alone, low greenhouse gas emission, among others. This review discusses and analyzes different transesterification processes, technologies, as well as different technical aspects during biodiesel production using castor oil as a feedstock.
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