Environmental Chemistry Letters

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 1447–1469 | Cite as

Biochar-derived heterogeneous catalysts for biodiesel production

  • Muthusamy Balajii
  • Subramaniapillai NijuEmail author


Population increase, urbanization and industrialization induce a drastic need for energy. Actually, fossil fuel resources are heavily exploited to meet the energy demand and result in the emission of greenhouse gases. Alternatively, biodiesel is a renewable fuel produced by transesterification of biomass lipidic feedstocks. Biodiesel is a renewable fuel that can replace fossil diesel. Short-chain alcohols and efficient catalysts are required for biodiesel production. For instance, biochar can be used as a heterogeneous catalyst for biodiesel production owing to its high surface area and porosity. Biochar is a low-cost, carbon-rich material produced by pyrolysis of plant biomass. Here, we review the production, activation, and application of biochar, with focus on characteristics of biochar-derived catalysts, such as surface chemistry, thermal stability, total acidity or basicity, structural morphology, and elemental composition. We also present the developments of biochar-based catalysts from various biomass sources for biodiesel production.


Biomass Pyrolysis Carbonization Biochar 



SN is grateful to SERB-DST, New Delhi, India, for Early Career Research Award (ECR/2015/000036), and MB is thankful to SERB-DST for the award of Junior Research Fellowship (JRF).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiotechnologyPSG College of TechnologyCoimbatoreIndia

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