A holistic appraisal of three non-edible biofuel plants, with in depth analysis of their environmental impact, socioeconomic potential, and contribution to rural and circular bio-economy is the main focus of this review. Bioenergy is designated as a smart option to mitigate energy-based demands of an escalating human population, the resultant environmental pollution, and challenges of climate change. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first concerted and comparative assessment of Jatropha curcas, Pongamia pinnata and Mesua ferrea as biofuel resources, with concurrent evaluation of the environmental and socioeconomic perspectives. Ease of availability, non-edibility, higher biomass, and resilience to climatic variations, render them potential biofuel capital for a cleaner and greener future. Their environmental perspectives are critically assessed in this review based on the roles in phytoremediation, bioadsorption, carbon sequestration, and soil conditioning. The detailed analysis of biogas, biopesticide, cosmetic products, and biofuel yield, reinforce the economic potential of the three plants under review. The socioeconomic implications, practical challenges, and limitations of crops for biofuel, especially in the predominantly rural, low income, agrarian milieu, are comprehensively discussed. Therefore, in the concluding section, the review offers new directions for policies and frameworks toward sustainable and circular bio-economy in biofuel sector.