With drastic fossil fuel depletion and environmental deterioration concerns, a move towards a more sustainable bioenergy-based economy is essential. Lately, the application of microwave (MW) irradiation for waste processing has been attracting interest globally. MW-assisted heating possesses several advantages such as the provision of high microwave energy into dielectric materials with deeper penetration for internal heat generation, showing beneficial features in improving the heating rate and reducing the reaction time. Consequently, the most recent literature regarding the applications of MW-assisted heating for biomass pretreatment as well as biofuel and bioenergy production was reviewed and consolidated in this study. An impressive increase in the product yield and improvement of the product properties are reported, with the use of MW-assisted heating in several conversion routes to produce biofuels. Despite being a promising technology for biofuel production, some major fundamental data of MW-assisted heating have not been comprehensively identified. Therefore, the feasibility of this technology for large-scale implementation is still subpar. Understanding the interaction between the feedstock and the microwave electromagnetic field, and the optimization of several operational and mechanical parameters are the two main keystones that would propel the industrialization of MW heating in the near future. This provides key insights leading to increased feasibility and more advanced application of MW heating.
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