Bioengineering (Basel). 2022 Jul 27;9(8):347. doi: 10.3390/bioengineering9080347.
The need to arrest the continued environmental contamination and degradation associated with the consumption of fossil-based fuels has continued to serve as an impetus for the increased utilization of renewable fuels. The demand for biodiesel has continued to escalate in the past few decades due to urbanization, industrialization, and stringent government policies in favor of renewable fuels for diverse applications. One of the strategies for ensuring the intensification, commercialization, and increased utilization of biodiesel is the adaptation of reactor technologies, especially tubular reactors. The current study reviewed the deployment of different types and configurations of tubular reactors for the acceleration of biodiesel production. The feedstocks, catalysts, conversion techniques, and modes of biodiesel conversion by reactor technologies are highlighted. The peculiarities, applications, merits, drawbacks, and instances of biodiesel synthesis through a packed bed, fluidized bed, trickle bed, oscillatory flow, and micro-channel tubular reactor technologies are discussed to facilitate a better comprehension of the mechanisms behind the technology. Indeed, the deployment of the transesterification technique in tubular reactor technologies will ensure the ecofriendly, low-cost, and large-scale production of biodiesel, a high product yield, and will generate high-quality biodiesel. The outcome of this study will enrich scholarship and stimulate a renewed interest in the application of tubular reactors for large-scale biodiesel production among biodiesel refiners and other stakeholders. Going forward, the use of innovative technologies such as robotics, machine learning, smart metering, artificial intelligent, and other modeling tools should be deployed to monitor reactor technologies for biodiesel production.