Biofuels have become an attractive alternative fuel because of their possible environmental benefits and the current concern over the depletion of fossil fuel sources. The demand for biofuels will rise in the future due to the rise in the price of fossil fuel, energy security reasons, environmental and economical issues. Vegetable oils are the most common feedstocks and are converted into liquid fuels due to their high energy density, liquid nature and availability as a renewable feedstock. Several types of vegetable oils with a diversified composition in fatty acids can be used. Beside edible vegetable oils, non-edible and used cooking oils have also received considerable attention because they do not compete with food sources and are less costly to procure. Beside vegetable oils, bio-oil obtained from the pyrolysis of biomass has also been upgraded through catalytic cracking process to obtain biofuel. Catalytic cracking is one of the most efficient methods to produce biofuel, especially biogasoline, by cracking of vegetable oil in the presence of suitable catalyst. The catalytic cracking of edible and non-edible oils requires the development of proper cracking catalysts and reactors for the production of biogasoline. The present article summarizes progress in the development of the technology in biofuel production viacatalytic cracking. The paper also covers the different types of feedstock suitable for the production of biofuel, potential cracking catalysts, catalytic cracking mechanisms, different types of catalytic reactors, and biofuel characteristics. Important issues like catalyst choice and reactor design must be addressed before catalytic cracking can be commercially implemented. The paper also presents the future prospects of this technology in biorefineries for the production of biofuels.
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