The imbalance of food and biofuel markets amid Ukraine-Russia crisis: A systems thinking perspective

Zahra Shams Esfandabadi (Corresponding author), Meisam Ranjbari, Simone Domenico Scagnelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

96 Citations (Scopus)


The Ukraine war has immensely affected both food and energy systems due to the significant role of Russia in supplying natural gas and fertilizers globally and the extensive contribution of both Russia and Ukraine in exporting grains and oilseeds to the international markets. Hence, the Ukraine-Russia conflict has resulted in a shortage of crops and grains in the food market, especially in Europe, causing speculations if these resources should still be used for biofuel production (1st Generation). However, the International Energy Agency has warned that lowering biofuel mandates could result in rising petroleum demand and supply concerns. In light of these unfolding events, a systems thinking approach is required to monitor and analyze the implications of this crisis for food and biofuel markets as a whole to alleviate the concerns faced and plan sustainably. In this vein, based on the trade-offs between food system elements and the biofuel supply chain, as well as the potential effects of the war on the food and energy systems worldwide, a causal loop diagram is developed in the present work. According to the insights provided, the key to preventing food insecurity and keeping biofuel mandates on an increasing trend simultaneously amid the Ukraine war is to switch from the 1st Generation biofuels to higher generations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1640-1647
Number of pages8
JournalBiofuel Research Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Biofuel
  • Circular economy
  • Climate change
  • Food crisis
  • Food insecurity
  • Ukraine-russia war


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