Waste cooking oil (WCO) is a hazardous waste generated at staggering values globally. WCO disposal into various ecosystems, including soil and water, could result in severe environmental consequences. On the other hand, mismanagement of this hazardous waste could also be translated into the loss of resources given its energy content. Hence, finding cost-effective and eco-friendly alternative pathways for simultaneous management and valorization of WCO, such as conversion into biodiesel, has been widely sought. Due to its low toxicity, high biodegradability, renewability, and the possibility of direct use in diesel engines, biodiesel is a promising alternative to mineral diesel. However, the conventional homogeneous or heterogeneous catalysts used in the biodiesel production process, i.e., transesterification, are generally toxic and derived from non-renewable resources. Therefore, to boost the sustainability features of the process, the development of catalysts derived from renewable waste-oriented resources is of significant importance. In light of the above, the present work aims to review and critically discuss the hazardous WCO application for bioenergy production. Moreover, various waste-oriented catalysts used to valorize this waste are presented and discussed.
* Title and MeSH Headings from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.