Biofuel supply chain management in the circular economy transition: An inclusive knowledge map of the field

Meisam Ranjbari*, Zahra Shams Esfandabadi, Alberto Ferraris, Francesco Quatraro, Mohammad Rehan, Abdul Sattar Nizami, Vijai Kumar Gupta, Su Shiung Lam, Mortaza Aghbashlo*, Meisam Tabatabaei*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


Investment in biofuels, as sustainable alternatives for fossil fuels, has gained momentum over the last decade due to the global environmental and health concerns regarding fossil fuel consumption. Hence, effective management of biofuel supply chain (BSC) components, including biomass feedstock production, biomass logistics, biofuel production in biorefineries, and biofuel distribution to consumers, is crucial in transitioning towards a low-carbon and circular economy (CE). The present study aims to render an inclusive knowledge map of the BSC-related scientific production. In this vein, a systematic review, supported by a keywords co-occurrence analysis and qualitative content analysis, was carried out on a total of 1,975 peer-reviewed journal articles in the target literature. The analysis revealed four major research hotspots in the BSC literature, namely (1) biomass-to-biofuel supply chain design and planning, (2) environmental impacts of biofuel production, (3) biomass to bioenergy, and (4) techno-economic analysis of biofuel production. Besides, the findings showed that the following subject areas of research in the BSC research community have recently attracted more attention: (i) global warming and climate change mitigation, (ii) development of the third-generation biofuels produced from algal biomass, which has recently gained momentum in the CE debate, and (iii) government incentives, pricing, and subsidizing policies. The provided insights shed light on the understanding of researchers, stakeholders, and policy-makers involved in the sustainable energy sector by outlining the main research backgrounds, developments, and tendencies within the BSC arena. Looking at the provided knowledge map, potential research directions in BSCs towards implementing the CE model, including (i) integrative policy convergence at macro, meso, and micro levels, and (ii) industrializing algae-based biofuel production towards the CE transition, were proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number133968
Early online date15 Feb 2022
Publication statusPrint publication - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright: © 2022 Elsevier Ltd


  • Anaerobic digestion
  • Biofuel
  • Biogas
  • Biomass
  • Circular economy
  • Supply chain management


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