Green chemicals from used cooking oils: Trends, challenges, and opportunities

Alvaro Orjuela*, James Clark

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Food waste reduction is fundamental for sustainable development and pursuing this goal, recycling and the valorization of used cooking oil (UCO) can play a major contribution. Although it has been traditionally used for biofuel production, the oleochemical potential of UCOs is vast. UCOs can be used as feedstock for a large variety of value-added green chemicals including plasticizers, binders, epoxides, surfactants, lubricants, polymers, biomaterials, and different building blocks. Thus, UCO transformation into functional chemicals can bring long-term stability to the supply chain, avoiding the current dependence on commodity products. In this regard, this work describes some of the potential benefits of using UCOs as feedstock in oleochemical biorefineries. In addition, some of the most recent investigations on the valorization of UCOs other than biofuel are presented. Finally, major challenges and future directions are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100369
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry
Early online date7 Jun 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

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