Supercritical fluids technology for clean biofuel production

Dongsheng Wen, H. Jiang, Kai Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

152 Scopus citations


Biofuels are liquid or gaseous fuels that are predominantly produced from biomass for transport sector applications. As biofuels are renewable, sustainable, carbon neutral and environmentally benign, they have been proposed as promising alternative fuels for gasoline and diesel engines. This paper reviews state-of-the-art application of the supercritical fluid (SCF) technique in biofuels production that includes biodiesel from vegetable oils via the transesterification process, bio-hydrogen from the gasification and bio-oil from the liquefaction of biomass, with biodiesel production as the main focus. The global biofuel situation and biofuel economics are also reviewed. The SCF has been shown to be a promising technique for future large-scale biofuel production, especially for biodiesel production from waster oil and fat. Compared with conventional biofuel production methods, the SCF technology possesses a number of advantages that includes fast kinetics, high fuel production rate, ease of continuous operation and elimination of the necessity of catalysts. The harsh operation environment, i.e. the high temperature and high pressure, and its request on the materials and associated cost are the main concerns for its wide application.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-284
Number of pages12
JournalProgress in Natural Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodiesel
  • Biofuel
  • Biomass
  • Gasification
  • Hydrogen
  • Liquefaction
  • Supercritical fluids
  • Transesterification


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