additive and abelian categories
(AB1) pre-abelian category
(AB2) abelian category
(AB5) Grothendieck category
left/right exact functor
and
nonabelian homological algebra
Grothendieck categories are those abelian categories $\mathcal{A}$
such that for presheaves on a site with values in $\mathcal{A}$ there is an existence theorem for the sheafification functor;
such that all complexes in $\mathcal{A}$ (with respect to a translation) are quasi-isomorphic to homotopically injective complexes (so that derived functor can be computed on homotopically injective replacements).
In terms of the AB$n$ hierarchy discussed at additive and abelian categories we have
A Grothendieck category is an AB5-category which has a generator.
This means that a Grothendieck category is an abelian category
that admits a generator;
that admits small colimits;
such that small filtered colimits are exact in the following sense:
Dually a co-Grothendieck category is an AB5$^*$ category with a cogenerator. The category of abelian groups is not a co-Grothendieck category. Any abelian category which is simultaneously Grothendieck and co-Grothendieck has just a single object (see Freyd’s book, p.116).
A Grothendieck category $C$ satisfies the following properties.
it admits small limits;
if a functor $F : C^{op} \to Set$ commutes with small limits, the $F$ is representable;
if a functor $F : C^{op} \to Set$ commutes with small colimits, then $F$ has a right adjoint.
If $C$ is equipped with translation $T : C \to C$, then for every complex $X \in Cplx(C)$ there exists a quasi-isomorphism of complexes $X \to I$ such that $I$ is homotopically injective.
it satisfies Pierre Gabriel’s sup property: every small family of subobjects of a given object $X$ has a supremum which is a subobject of $X$
Much of the localization theory of rings generalizes to general Grothendieck categories.
For $R$ a commutative ring, its category of modules $R$Mod is a Grothendieck category. (see e.g Kiersz 06, prop. 4 for the proof that filtered colimits here are exact.)
For $C$ a small abelian category, the category $Ind(C)$ of ind-objects in $C$ is a Grothendieck category.
for $C$ a Grothendieck category, the category $C_c$ of complexes in $C$ is again a Grothendieck category.
Grothendieck categories are mentioned at the end of section 8.3 in
The relation to complexes is in section 14.1.
The proof that filtered colimits in $R Mod$ are exact is spelled out for instance in
See also
The duality of Grothendieck categories with categories of modules over linearly compact rings is discussed in
Discussion of model structures on chain complexes in Grothendieck abelian categories is in