Acceleration of Biodiesel Production

A special issue of Bioengineering (ISSN 2306-5354). This special issue belongs to the section "Biochemical Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2023) | Viewed by 43782

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Special Issue Editors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Undoubtedly, among various biofuels, biodiesel stands out as a sustainable and renewable transportation fuel with success in the market.  Even though significant advances have been made in the realm of converting various biomass feedstock such as waste cooking oil and various non-edible feedstock such as micro algal lipids into biodiesel at an accelerated rate, much remains to be explored, as the energy needs are growing exponentially. At present, microwave-based technology is superior to any other known accelerated methods such as ultrasound or solar or microfluid reactors or mechanical stirring technologies. It is surprising to note that there are only 55 results in the Web of Science with the search keywords biodiesel and production and acceleration. Though the results from a Web of Science search are not a gospel truth, research in the realm of accelerated methods for biodiesel production is definitely only at the incipient stages, and much remains to be explored. For instance, there have been recent reports on using electrical field to accelerate biodiesel production. Likewise, thermal energy from nuclear reactors, magnetic field, electron beams, plasma irradiation, and unconventional radiation sources can be explored for the acceleration of biodiesel production, as the complexity of the raw materials is ever increasing as well. Interestingly, significant process has been made in the field of solid base catalysts, in that catalysts such as SrO, CaO, MgO, and activated-carbon-supported base catalysts have been used for the acceleration of biodiesel production. Thus, the objective of the current Special Issue titled “Acceleration of Biodiesel Production” is to enlarge the knowledge domain and to make available the know-how to the biorefiners and the methods for the fast production of biodiesel that ensure demand-based supply of product biodiesel in the market, leading to alleviation of humankind suffering due to energy poverty. Researchers in the field are enthusiastically encouraged to contribute their original results for publication in this Special Issue of the journal Bioengineering.

Dr. Indra Neel Pulidindi
Prof. Dr. Aharon Gedanken
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • biodiesel
  • acceleration
  • production
  • microwave
  • ultrasound
  • solar energy
  • mechanical stirring
  • micro fluid reactor
  • nuclear thermal energy
  • electrodes
  • electron beam
  • electric field
  • electro chemistry
  • solid base
  • catalyst
  • biomass
  • lipids, lipid culture

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 1256 KiB  
Article
Environmentally Friendly New Catalyst Using Waste Alkaline Solution from Aluminum Production for the Synthesis of Biodiesel in Aqueous Medium
by Sandro L. Barbosa, David Lee Nelson, Lucas Paconio, Moises Pedro, Wallans Torres Pio dos Santos, Alexandre P. Wentz, Fernando L. P. Pessoa, Foster A. Agblevor, Daniel A. Bortoleto, Maria B. de Freitas-Marques and Lucas D. Zanatta
Bioengineering 2023, 10(6), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10060692 - 7 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1325
Abstract
Red mud (RM) is composed of a waste alkaline solution (pH = 13.3) obtained from the production of alumina. It contains high concentrations of hematite (Fe2O3), goethite (FeOOH), gibbsite [Al(OH)3], a boehmite (AlOOH), anatase (Tetragonal–TiO2), [...] Read more.
Red mud (RM) is composed of a waste alkaline solution (pH = 13.3) obtained from the production of alumina. It contains high concentrations of hematite (Fe2O3), goethite (FeOOH), gibbsite [Al(OH)3], a boehmite (AlOOH), anatase (Tetragonal–TiO2), rutile (Ditetragonal dipyramidal–TiO2), hydrogarnets [Ca3Al2(SiO4)3−x(OH)4x], quartz (SiO2), and perovskite (CaTiO3). It was shown to be an excellent catalytic mixture for biodiesel production. To demonstrate the value of RM, an environmentally friendly process of transesterification in aqueous medium using waste cooking oil (WCO), MeOH, and waste alkaline solution (WAS) obtained from aluminum production was proposed. Triglycerides of WCO reacted with MeOH at 60 °C to yield mixtures of fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) in the presence of 0.019% (w/w) WAS/WCO using the WAS (0.204 mol L−1, predetermined by potentiometric titration) from aluminum production by the Bayer process. The use of the new catalyst (WAS) resulted in a high yield of the products (greater than 99% yield). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acceleration of Biodiesel Production)
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13 pages, 2211 KiB  
Article
Upgrading of Biobased Glycerol to Glycerol Carbonate as a Tool to Reduce the CO2 Emissions of the Biodiesel Fuel Life Cycle
by Biagio Anderlini, Alberto Ughetti, Emma Cristoni, Luca Forti, Luca Rigamonti and Fabrizio Roncaglia
Bioengineering 2022, 9(12), 778; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering9120778 - 6 Dec 2022
Viewed by 1747
Abstract
With regards to oil-based diesel fuel, the adoption of bio-derived diesel fuel was estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 75%, considering the whole life cycle. In this paper, we present a novel continuous-flow process able to transfer an equimolar amount of [...] Read more.
With regards to oil-based diesel fuel, the adoption of bio-derived diesel fuel was estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by approximately 75%, considering the whole life cycle. In this paper, we present a novel continuous-flow process able to transfer an equimolar amount of CO2 (through urea) to glycerol, producing glycerol carbonate. This represents a convenient tool, able to both improve the efficiency of the biodiesel production through the conversion of waste streams into added-value chemicals and to beneficially contribute to the whole carbon cycle. By means of a Design of Experiments approach, the influence of key operating variables on the product yield was studied and statistically modeled. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acceleration of Biodiesel Production)
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17 pages, 3847 KiB  
Article
Kinetics of Biodiesel Production from Microalgae Using Microbubble Interfacial Technology
by Fahed Javed, Muhammad Waqas Saif-ul-Allah, Faisal Ahmed, Naim Rashid, Arif Hussain, William B. Zimmerman and Fahad Rehman
Bioengineering 2022, 9(12), 739; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering9120739 - 29 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1948
Abstract
As an alternative to fossil fuels, biodiesel can be a source of clean and environmentally friendly energy source. However, its commercial application is limited by expensive feedstock and the slow nature of the pretreatment step-acid catalysis. The conventional approach to carry out this [...] Read more.
As an alternative to fossil fuels, biodiesel can be a source of clean and environmentally friendly energy source. However, its commercial application is limited by expensive feedstock and the slow nature of the pretreatment step-acid catalysis. The conventional approach to carry out this reaction uses stirred tank reactors. Recently, the lab-scale experiments using microbubble mediated mass transfer technology have demonstrated its potential use at commercial scale. However, all the studies conducted so far have been at a lab scale~100 mL of feedstock. To analyze the feasibility of microbubble technology, a larger pilot scale study is required. In this context, a kinetic study of microbubble technology at an intermediate scale is conducted (3 L of oil). Owing to the target for industrial application of the process, a commercial feedstock (Spirulina), microalgae oil (MO) and a commercial catalyst para-toluene sulfonic acid (PTSA) are used. Experiments to characterize the kinetics space (response surface, RSM) required for up-scaling are designed to develop a robust model. The model is compared with that developed by the gated recurrent unit (GRU) method. The maximum biodiesel conversion of 99.45 ± 1.3% is achieved by using these conditions: the molar ratio of MO to MeOH of 1:23.73 ratio, time of 60 min, and a catalyst loading of 3.3 wt% MO with an MO volume of 3 L. Furthermore, predicted models of RSM and GRU show proper fits to the experimental result. It was found that GRU produced a more accurate and robust model with correlation coefficient R2 = 0.9999 and root-mean-squared error (RSME) = 0.0515 in comparison with RSM model with R2 = 0.9844 and RMSE = 3.0832, respectively. Although RSM and GRU are fully empirical representations, they can be used for reactor up-scaling horizontally with microbubbles if the liquid layer height is held constant while the microbubble injection replicates along the floor of the reactor vessel—maintaining the tessellation pattern of the smaller vessel. This scaling approach maintains the local mixing profile, which is the major uncontrolled variable in conventional stirred tank reactor up-scaling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acceleration of Biodiesel Production)
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21 pages, 5843 KiB  
Article
Deep Eutectic Solvents for Biodiesel Purification in a Microextractor: Solvent Preparation, Selection and Process Optimization
by Sara Anđelović, Marko Božinović, Željka Ćurić, Anita Šalić, Ana Jurinjak Tušek, Kristina Zagajski Kučan, Marko Rogošić, Mia Radović, Marina Cvjetko Bubalo and Bruno Zelić
Bioengineering 2022, 9(11), 665; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering9110665 - 8 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2370
Abstract
The most important and commonly used process for biodiesel synthesis is transesterification. The main by-product of biodiesel synthesis by transesterification is glycerol, which must be removed from the final product. Recently, deep eutectic solvent (DES) assisted extraction has been shown to be an [...] Read more.
The most important and commonly used process for biodiesel synthesis is transesterification. The main by-product of biodiesel synthesis by transesterification is glycerol, which must be removed from the final product. Recently, deep eutectic solvent (DES) assisted extraction has been shown to be an effective and sustainable method for biodiesel purification. In this study, biodiesel was produced by lipase-catalysed transesterification from sunflower oil and methanol. A total of 12 different eutectic solvents were prepared and their physical properties were determined. Mathematical models were used to define which physical and chemical properties of DES and to what extent affect the efficiency of extraction of glycerol from the biodiesel. After initial screening, cholinium-based DES with ethylene glycol as hydrogen bond donor was selected and used for optimization of extraction process conditions performed in a microsystem. To determine the optimal process conditions (temperature, biodiesel:DES volume ratio, residence time), the experimental three-level-three-factor Box-Behnken experimental design was used. In the end, a combination of a mathematical model and experimental results was used to estimate how many micro-extractors are necessary for the complete removal of glycerol. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acceleration of Biodiesel Production)
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15 pages, 1430 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Bioenergy Production from the Raw and Defatted Microalgal Biomass Using Wastewater as the Cultivation Medium
by Gang Li, Yuhang Hao, Tenglun Yang, Wenbo Xiao, Minmin Pan, Shuhao Huo and Tao Lyu
Bioengineering 2022, 9(11), 637; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering9110637 - 2 Nov 2022
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 2293
Abstract
Improving the efficiency of using energy and decreasing impacts on the environment will be an inevitable choice for future development. Based on this direction, three kinds of medium (modified anaerobic digestion wastewater, anaerobic digestion wastewater and a standard growth medium BG11) were used [...] Read more.
Improving the efficiency of using energy and decreasing impacts on the environment will be an inevitable choice for future development. Based on this direction, three kinds of medium (modified anaerobic digestion wastewater, anaerobic digestion wastewater and a standard growth medium BG11) were used to culture microalgae towards achieving high-quality biodiesel products. The results showed that microalgae culturing with anaerobic digestate wastewater could increase lipid content (21.8%); however, the modified anaerobic digestion wastewater can boost the microalgal biomass production to 0.78 ± 0.01 g/L when compared with (0.35–0.54 g/L) the other two groups. Besides the first step lipid extraction, the elemental composition, thermogravimetric and pyrolysis products of the defatted microalgal residues were also analysed to delve into the utilisation potential of microalgae biomass. Defatted microalgae from modified wastewater by pyrolysis at 650 °C resulted in an increase in the total content of valuable products (39.47%) with no significant difference in the content of toxic compounds compared to other groups. Moreover, the results of the life cycle assessment showed that the environmental impact (388.9 mPET2000) was lower than that of raw wastewater (418.1 mPET2000) and standard medium (497.3 mPET2000)-cultivated groups. Consequently, the method of culturing microalgae in modified wastewater and pyrolyzing algal residues has a potential to increase renewable energy production and reduce environmental impact. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acceleration of Biodiesel Production)
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16 pages, 3851 KiB  
Article
Intensification of Biodiesel Processing from Waste Cooking Oil, Exploiting Cooperative Microbubble and Bifunctional Metallic Heterogeneous Catalysis
by Fahed Javed, Muhammad Rizwan, Maryam Asif, Shahzad Ali, Rabya Aslam, Muhammad Sarfraz Akram, William B Zimmerman and Fahad Rehman
Bioengineering 2022, 9(10), 533; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering9100533 - 8 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1855
Abstract
Waste resources are an attractive option for economical the production of biodiesel; however, oil derived from waste resource contains free fatty acids (FFA). The concentration of FFAs must be reduced to below 1 wt.% before it can be converted to biodiesel using transesterification. [...] Read more.
Waste resources are an attractive option for economical the production of biodiesel; however, oil derived from waste resource contains free fatty acids (FFA). The concentration of FFAs must be reduced to below 1 wt.% before it can be converted to biodiesel using transesterification. FFAs are converted to fatty acid methyl esters (FAMEs) using acid catalysis, which is the rate-limiting reaction (~4000 times slower than transesterification), with a low conversion as well, in the over biodiesel production process. The study is focused on synthesizing and using a bifunctional catalyst (7% Sr/ZrO2) to carry out esterification and transesterification simultaneously to convert waste cooking oil (WCO) into biodiesel using microbubble-mediated mass transfer technology. The results reveal that a higher conversion of 85% is achieved in 20 min using 7% Sr/ZrO2 for biodiesel production. A comprehensive kinetic model is developed for the conversion of WCO in the presence of a 7% Sr/ZrO2 catalyst. The model indicates that the current reaction is pseudo-first-order, controlled by the vapor–liquid interface, which also indicates the complex role of microbubble interfaces due to the presence of the bifunctional catalyst. The catalyst could be recycled seven times, indicating its high stability during biodiesel production. The heterogeneous bifunctional catalyst is integrated with microbubble-mediated mass transfer technology for the first time. The results are unprecedented; furthermore, this study might be the first to use microbubble interfaces to “host” bifunctional metallic catalysts. The resulting one-step process of esterification and transesterification makes the process less energy-intensive and more cost-efficient, while also reducing process complexity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acceleration of Biodiesel Production)
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Review

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29 pages, 988 KiB  
Review
Biofuels from Renewable Sources, a Potential Option for Biodiesel Production
by Dhurba Neupane
Bioengineering 2023, 10(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering10010029 - 25 Dec 2022
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 12831
Abstract
Ever-increasing population growth that demands more energy produces tremendous pressure on natural energy reserves such as coal and petroleum, causing their depletion. Climate prediction models predict that drought events will be more intense during the 21st century affecting agricultural productivity. The renewable energy [...] Read more.
Ever-increasing population growth that demands more energy produces tremendous pressure on natural energy reserves such as coal and petroleum, causing their depletion. Climate prediction models predict that drought events will be more intense during the 21st century affecting agricultural productivity. The renewable energy needs in the global energy supply must stabilize surface temperature rise to 1.5 °C compared to pre-industrial values. To address the global climate issue and higher energy demand without depleting fossil reserves, growing bioenergy feedstock as the potential resource for biodiesel production could be a viable alternative. The interest in growing biofuels for biodiesel production has increased due to its potential benefits over fossil fuels and the flexibility of feedstocks. Therefore, this review article focuses on different biofuels and biomass resources for biodiesel production, their properties, procedure, factors affecting biodiesel production, different catalysts used, and greenhouse gas emissions from biodiesel production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acceleration of Biodiesel Production)
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12 pages, 1878 KiB  
Review
Zr-Based Metal-Organic Frameworks for Green Biodiesel Synthesis: A Minireview
by Qiuyun Zhang, Jialu Wang, Shuya Zhang, Juan Ma, Jingsong Cheng and Yutao Zhang
Bioengineering 2022, 9(11), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering9110700 - 17 Nov 2022
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2299
Abstract
Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) have widespread application prospects in the field of catalysis owing to their functionally adjustable metal sites and adjustable structure. In this minireview, we summarize the current advancements in zirconium-based metal–organic framework (Zr-based MOF) catalysts (including single Zr-based MOFs, modified Zr-based [...] Read more.
Metal–organic frameworks (MOFs) have widespread application prospects in the field of catalysis owing to their functionally adjustable metal sites and adjustable structure. In this minireview, we summarize the current advancements in zirconium-based metal–organic framework (Zr-based MOF) catalysts (including single Zr-based MOFs, modified Zr-based MOFs, and Zr-based MOF derivatives) for green biofuel synthesis. Additionally, the yields, conversions, and reusability of Zr-based MOF catalysts for the production of biodiesel are compared. Finally, the challenges and future prospects regarding Zr-based MOFs and their derivatives for catalytic application in the biorefinery field are highlighted. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acceleration of Biodiesel Production)
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23 pages, 3504 KiB  
Review
Bioengineering to Accelerate Biodiesel Production for a Sustainable Biorefinery
by Dheeraj Rathore, Surajbhan Sevda, Shiv Prasad, Veluswamy Venkatramanan, Anuj Kumar Chandel, Rupam Kataki, Sudipa Bhadra, Veeranna Channashettar, Neelam Bora and Anoop Singh
Bioengineering 2022, 9(11), 618; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering9110618 - 27 Oct 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4323
Abstract
Biodiesel is an alternative, carbon-neutral fuel compared to fossil-based diesel, which can reduce greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions. Biodiesel is a product of microorganisms, crop plants, and animal-based oil and has the potential to prosper as a sustainable and renewable energy source and tackle [...] Read more.
Biodiesel is an alternative, carbon-neutral fuel compared to fossil-based diesel, which can reduce greenhouse gas (GHGs) emissions. Biodiesel is a product of microorganisms, crop plants, and animal-based oil and has the potential to prosper as a sustainable and renewable energy source and tackle growing energy problems. Biodiesel has a similar composition and combustion properties to fossil diesel and thus can be directly used in internal combustion engines as an energy source at the commercial level. Since biodiesel produced using edible/non-edible crops raises concerns about food vs. fuel, high production cost, monocropping crisis, and unintended environmental effects, such as land utilization patterns, it is essential to explore new approaches, feedstock and technologies to advance the production of biodiesel and maintain its sustainability. Adopting bioengineering methods to produce biodiesel from various sources such as crop plants, yeast, algae, and plant-based waste is one of the recent technologies, which could act as a promising alternative for creating genuinely sustainable, technically feasible, and cost-competitive biodiesel. Advancements in genetic engineering have enhanced lipid production in cellulosic crops and it can be used for biodiesel generation. Bioengineering intervention to produce lipids/fat/oil (TGA) and further their chemical or enzymatic transesterification to accelerate biodiesel production has a great future. Additionally, the valorization of waste and adoption of the biorefinery concept for biodiesel production would make it eco-friendly, cost-effective, energy positive, sustainable and fit for commercialization. A life cycle assessment will not only provide a better understanding of the various approaches for biodiesel production and waste valorization in the biorefinery model to identify the best technique for the production of sustainable biodiesel, but also show a path to draw a new policy for the adoption and commercialization of biodiesel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acceleration of Biodiesel Production)
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27 pages, 4995 KiB  
Review
Sustainable Feedstocks and Challenges in Biodiesel Production: An Advanced Bibliometric Analysis
by Misael B. Sales, Pedro T. Borges, Manoel Nazareno Ribeiro Filho, Lizandra Régia Miranda da Silva, Alyne P. Castro, Ada Amelia Sanders Lopes, Rita Karolinny Chaves de Lima, Maria Alexsandra de Sousa Rios and José C. S. dos Santos
Bioengineering 2022, 9(10), 539; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering9100539 - 10 Oct 2022
Cited by 34 | Viewed by 5873
Abstract
Biodiesel can be produced from vegetable oils, animal fats, frying oils, and from microorganism-synthesized oils. These sources render biodiesel an easily biodegradable fuel. The aim of this work was to perform an advanced bibliometric analysis of primary studies relating to biodiesel production worldwide [...] Read more.
Biodiesel can be produced from vegetable oils, animal fats, frying oils, and from microorganism-synthesized oils. These sources render biodiesel an easily biodegradable fuel. The aim of this work was to perform an advanced bibliometric analysis of primary studies relating to biodiesel production worldwide by identifying the key countries and regions that have shown a strong engagement in this area, and by understanding the dynamics of their collaboration and research outputs. Additionally, an assessment of the main primary feedstocks employed in this research was carried out, along with an analysis of the current and future trends that are expected to define new paths and methodologies to be used in the manufacture of biodegradable and renewable fuels. A total of 4586 academic outputs were selected, including peer-reviewed research articles, conference papers, and literature reviews related to biodiesel production, in the time period spanning from 2010 to 2021. Articles that focused on feedstocks for the production of biodiesel were also included, with a search that returned 330 papers. Lastly, 60 articles relating to biodiesel production via sewage were specifically included to allow for an analysis of this source as a promising feedstock in the future of the biofuel market. Via the geocoding and the document analyses performed, we concluded that China, Malaysia, and India are the largest writers of articles in this area, revealing a great interest in biofuels in Asia. Additionally, it was noted that environmental concerns have caused authors to conduct research on feedstocks that can address the sustainability challenges in the production of biodiesel. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acceleration of Biodiesel Production)
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37 pages, 3161 KiB  
Review
Application of Tubular Reactor Technologies for the Acceleration of Biodiesel Production
by Omojola Awogbemi and Daramy Vandi Von Kallon
Bioengineering 2022, 9(8), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/bioengineering9080347 - 27 Jul 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 5249
Abstract
The need to arrest the continued environmental contamination and degradation associated with the consumption of fossil-based fuels has continued to serve as an impetus for the increased utilization of renewable fuels. The demand for biodiesel has continued to escalate in the past few [...] Read more.
The need to arrest the continued environmental contamination and degradation associated with the consumption of fossil-based fuels has continued to serve as an impetus for the increased utilization of renewable fuels. The demand for biodiesel has continued to escalate in the past few decades due to urbanization, industrialization, and stringent government policies in favor of renewable fuels for diverse applications. One of the strategies for ensuring the intensification, commercialization, and increased utilization of biodiesel is the adaptation of reactor technologies, especially tubular reactors. The current study reviewed the deployment of different types and configurations of tubular reactors for the acceleration of biodiesel production. The feedstocks, catalysts, conversion techniques, and modes of biodiesel conversion by reactor technologies are highlighted. The peculiarities, applications, merits, drawbacks, and instances of biodiesel synthesis through a packed bed, fluidized bed, trickle bed, oscillatory flow, and micro-channel tubular reactor technologies are discussed to facilitate a better comprehension of the mechanisms behind the technology. Indeed, the deployment of the transesterification technique in tubular reactor technologies will ensure the ecofriendly, low-cost, and large-scale production of biodiesel, a high product yield, and will generate high-quality biodiesel. The outcome of this study will enrich scholarship and stimulate a renewed interest in the application of tubular reactors for large-scale biodiesel production among biodiesel refiners and other stakeholders. Going forward, the use of innovative technologies such as robotics, machine learning, smart metering, artificial intelligent, and other modeling tools should be deployed to monitor reactor technologies for biodiesel production. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Acceleration of Biodiesel Production)
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