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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 31, 2020

Greener and sustainable production of bioethylene from bioethanol: current status, opportunities and perspectives

  • Farrukh Jamil , Muhammad Aslam ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Ala’a H. Al-Muhtaseb EMAIL logo , Awais Bokhari , Sikander Rafiq , Zakir Khan ORCID logo , Abrar Inayat , Ashfaq Ahmed ORCID logo , Shakhawat Hossain , Muhammad Shahzad Khurram and Muhammad S. Abu Bakar ORCID logo


The economic value of bioethylene produced from bioethanol dehydration is remarkable due to its extensive usage in the petrochemical industry. Bioethylene is produced through several routes, such as steam cracking of hydrocarbons from fossil fuel and dehydration of bioethanol, which can be produced through fermentation processes using renewable substrates such as glucose and starch. The rise in oil prices, environmental issues due to toxic emissions caused by the combustion of fossil fuel and depletion of fossil fuel resources have led a demand for an alternative pathway to produce green ethylene. One of the abundant alternative renewable sources for bioethanol production is biomass. Bioethanol produced from biomass is alleged to be a competitive alternative to bioethylene production as it is environmentally friendly and economical. In recent years, many studies have investigated catalysts and new reaction engineering pathways to enhance the bioethylene yield and to lower reaction temperature to drive the technology toward economic feasibility and practicality. This paper critically reviews bioethylene production from bioethanol in the presence of different catalysts, reaction conditions and reactor technologies to achieve a higher yield and selectivity of ethylene. Techno-economic and environmental assessments are performed to further development and commercialization. Finally, key issues and perspectives that require utmost attention to facilitate global penetration of technology are highlighted.

Corresponding authors: Muhammad Aslam, Department of Chemical Engineering, COMSATS University Islamabad (CUI), Lahore Campus, Defense Road, Off Raiwind Road, Lahore, Pakistan, E-mail:
Corresponding author: Ala’a H. Al-Muhtaseb, Department of Petroleum and Chemical Engineering, College of Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman, E-mail:


British Thermal Unit


calcium oxide






diethyl ether


cobalt tetraoxide


dodecatungestophosphoric acid


Energy Information Administration




liquefied petroleum gas


metric tonne


Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development


Manganese(III) oxide


Sodium oxide


Nickle silicoaluminophosphate zeolite-34


Silicoaluminophosphate zeolite-34


Titanium dioxide


Zinc oxide


Zeolite Socony Mobil–5


Gamma alumina







  1. Author contribution: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: None declared.

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.


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Received: 2019-05-16
Accepted: 2020-06-06
Published Online: 2020-08-31
Published in Print: 2022-02-23

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