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Journal of Energy
Volume 2013, Article ID 178356, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/178356
Review Article

Sustaining Biodiesel Production via Value-Added Applications of Glycerol

1Environmental and Nano Sciences Group, Chemistry Department, University of the Western Cape, Private Bag X17, Bellville 7535, South Africa
2School of Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, Adeyemi College of Education, PMB 520 Ondo State, Nigeria

Received 15 April 2013; Accepted 9 July 2013

Academic Editor: Onder Ozgener

Copyright © 2013 Omotola Babajide. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The production of biofuels worldwide has been significant lately due to the shift from obtaining energy from nonrenewable energy (fossil fuels) to renewable sources (biofuels). This energy shift arose as a result of the disturbing crude petroleum price fluctuations, uncertainties about fossil fuel reserves, and greenhouse gas (GHG) concerns. With the production of biofuels increasing considerably and the current global biodiesel production from different feedstock, reaching about 6 billion liters per year, biodiesel production costs have been highly dependent on feedstock prices, ranging from 70 to 25; of total production costs, and in comparison with the conventional diesel fuel, the biodiesel is currently noncompetitive. An efficient production process is, therefore, crucial to lowering biodiesel production costs. The question of sustainability, however, arises, taking into account the African diverse conditions and how vital concerns need to be addressed. The major concern about biodiesel production costs can be reduced by finding value-added applications for its glycerol byproduct. This paper, thus, provides an overview of current research trends that could overcome the major hurdles towards profitable commercialization of biodiesel and also proposes areas of opportunity probable to capitalize the surplus glycerol obtained, for numerous applications.