Biodiesel plants: real-world sustainability analysis using environmental and social life cycle assessment

Homa Hosseinzadeh-Bandbafha, Siavash Aghaei, Mortaza Aghbashlo, Mohammadali Kiehbadroudinezhad, Vijai Kumar Gupta, Pouya Mohammadi, Abdul Sattar Nizami, Yi Yang, Meisam Tabatabaei

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Concerns about carbon emissions and global warming have mobilized the world toward decarburization through various strategies, such as using zero or low-carbon products. One of the most important current strategies in decarburization is to eliminate or reduce the use of fossil fuels as one of the world’s largest sources of carbon emissions. In line with this, biofuel utilization is expected to expand worldwide due to its potential to solve carbon emissions. It is well documented that biodiesel is a promising alternative to overcome inherent problems attributed to petrodiesel in carbon emission. Despite biodiesel’s merits, its production depends on various materials and energy resources responsible for different environmental impacts. This fact might be questioned the sustainability of biodiesel production. Although maintaining the sustainability of biodiesel on a laboratory scale because of strict control of conditions can be successful, small-scale production cannot be used commercially and enter the competitive market. Accordingly, efforts should go toward commercializing biodiesel and expanding its use in the real world. Nevertheless, commercial biodiesel production in the real world can be problematic and challenging in terms of sustainability because of the large scale. Life cycle thinking (LCT) is a powerful approach to studying the sustainability of various products. More specifically, this approach can focus on three main pillars of sustainability, that is, environmental, economic, and social. Traditionally, environmental life cycle assessment is widely accepted to evaluate the environmental impacts of products during their life cycle. Recently, social life cycle assessment that addresses the social performances of products has also been developed. Accordingly, these approaches can help to address challenges and concerns associated with the sustainability of commercial biodiesel production. In light of the above, the current chapter scrutinizes the sustainability of commercial biodiesel production on the industrial scale based on the LCT approach from environmental and social points of view.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Biodiesel
Subtitle of host publicationReal-World Designs, Economics, and Applications
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9780128203613
ISBN (Print)9780128204856
Publication statusFirst published - 30 Jun 2023

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  • Commercial biodiesel
  • environmental life cycle assessment
  • industrial scale
  • social life cycle assessment


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