Glycerol is an organic polyol compound, and is an important raw material with extensive
applications in daily/petrochemical and pharmaceutical industry. Glycerol is typically obtained by
propylene chlorination, while the method used is complicated process and requires high energy consumption.
Interestingly, glycerol is recognized as a major by-product of biodiesel production. Approximately
100 kg of glycerol is yielded for 1 tonne of biodiesel production. With the rapid development
of the biodiesel industry, glycerol production capacity has been a serious surplus. This review introduces
the selective conversion of glycerol into a variety of value-added chemicals such as propylene
glycol, propanol, glyceraldehyde, and dihydroxyacetone via selective hydrogenation and oxidation, as
well as hydrocarbons and ethers via pyrolysis, gasification and etherification, respectively. The efficiency
of different types of catalysts and the influence of reaction parameters on the valorisation of
glycerol have been elucidated. Emphasis is also laid on the study of catalytic mechanisms and pathways
for some specific reactions.