A review on conversion of biomass to biofuel by nanocatalysts

Document Type : Review Paper


1 Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Research Center of Iran (CCERCI), P.O. Box 4335-186, Tehran, Iran

2 2Nano/catalysts Research Group, Biofuel Research Team (BRTeam), Karaj, Iran

3 Key Laboratory of Biofuels, Qingdao Institute of Bioenergy and Bioprocess Technology, Chines Academy of Sciences, Qingdao 266101, PR China

4 State Key Joint Laboratory of Environment Simulation and Pollution Control (SKLESPC), School of Environment, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China


The world’s increasing demand for energy has led to an increase in fossil fuel consumption. However this source of energy is limited and is accompanied with pollution problems. The availability and wide diversity of biomass resources have made them an attractive and promising source of energy. The conversion of biomass to biofuel has resulted in the production of liquid and gaseous fuels that can be used for different means methods such as thermochemical and biological processes. Thermochemical processes as a major conversion route which include gasification and direct liquefaction are applied to convert biomass to more useful biofuel. Catalytic processes are increasingly applied in biofuel development. Nanocatalysts play an important role in improving product quality and achieving optimal operating conditions. Nanocatalysts with a high specific surface area and high catalytic activity may solve the most common problems of heterogeneous catalysts such as mass transfer resistance, time consumption, fast deactivation and inefficiency. In this regard attempts to develop new types of nanocatalysts have been increased. Among the different biofuels produced from biomass, biodiesel has attained a great deal of attention. Nanocatalytic conversion of biomass to biodiesel has been reported using different edible and nonedible feedstock. In most research studies, the application of nanocatalysts improves yield efficiency at relatively milder operating conditions compared to the bulk catalysts.

Graphical Abstract

A review on conversion of biomass to biofuel by nanocatalysts