Impact of covid-19 on biofuels global market and their utilization necessity during pandemic

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Department of Biosystems Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Bu-Ali Sina University, Hamedan, Iran

2 Department of Biosystems Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran



In late 2019, the outbreak of a deadly Coronavirus shocked the world. Following the Covid-19 pandemic, governments were forced to enact a series of restrictive laws, including road and urban transportation. As a result of these restrictions, the consumption of fossil fuels in the world decreased and reduced the price and demand of these fuels. Because of the decline in this area, alternative fuels also faced serious challenges. Declining demand for alternative fuels has raised concerns about the development and future of these clean fuels. In this study, after presenting a quick look at biofuels' global markets, associated challenges ahead being examined in light of the declining demand and price of fossil fuels and biofuels. The results in this section showed that some social and economic constraints in the world are temporary due to the prevalence of Covid-19. As many countries reduced these restrictions in the second quarter of 2020, these limitation may be minimized shortly to zero with the discovery of vaccines and Covid-19 treatment. If it is supposed that the production of biofuels returns to its initial level in 2021, the development of biofuels should not be ignored because of the Covid-19. Obviously, in this case, the demand for biofuels will increase. According to new findings, the spread of coronavirus increases with air pollution. Therefore, the effects of coronavirus on air pollutants specifically NO2 and CO2 are investigated. The results revealed that the spread of coronavirus in 2020 has reduced NO2 emissions by 40-50% and CO2 emissions are also expected to be declined by 8%. This value is probably the largest reduction in CO2 emissions since 1900.  An effective solution to reduce air pollution is to develop the use of biofuels. At this time, the air pollution has been reduced due to a decrease in urban and road transportation. However, this pollution can be reduced by more development of biofuels to mitigate the spread of this deadly virus. Reduction in emissions is a result of declining social activity, rising unemployment, and severe economic problems.


[1] Naming the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the virus that causes it. World Health Organization (WHO).
[2] Novel Coronavirus-China. World Health Organization (WHO) (accessed on 12 January 2020).
[3] Chowdhury M. A., Shuvho M.B.A., Shahid M.A., Haque A. K. M. M., Kashem M. A.,  Lam S. S., Ong H. C.,  Uddin M.A., Mofijur M., Prospect of biobased antiviral face mask to limit the coronavirus outbreak, Environmental Research (2021) 192:110294.
[4] Mofijur M., Rizwanul Fattah I.M., Saiful Islam A B.M.,  Uddin M. N.,  Ashra- fur Rahman S. M., Chowdhury M. A.,  Alam M. A., Uddin M. A., Relationship between Weather Variables and New Daily COVID-19 Cases in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Sustainability (2020) 12(20):1-10.
[5] Abdullah S., AbuMansor A., MohdNapi NNL., WanMansor W.N., NajahAhmed A., Ismail M., AhmadRamly Z.T., Air quality status during 2020 Malaysia movement control order (MCO) due to 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) pandemic.  Science Total Environment (2020) 729:139022.
[6] Worldometer, Reported cases and deaths by country, territory, or conveyance. https: // . (accessed on 2 December, 2020).
[7] M. Mofijur I.M., Fattah R., Asraful Alam Md., Saiful Islam A.B.M., Hwai Chyuan Ong., Ashrafur Rahman S.M., Najafi, G., Ahmed, S.F., Alhaz Uddin, Md., d Mahlia T.M.I., Impact of COVID-19 on the social, economic, environmental and energy domains: Lessons learnt from a global pandemic, Sustainable Production and Consumption (2021) 26:343–359.
[8] European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. (accessed on 2 December, 2020).
[9] Acter T., Uddin N., Das J., Akhter, A., Choudhury T.R., Kim S., Evolution of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic: A global health emergency, Science of The Total Environment (2020) 730:138996.
[10] Chinazzi M., Davis J.T., Ajelli M., Gioannini C., Litvinova P., Merler S., Piontti A.P., Mu K., Rossi L., Sun P., Viboud P., Xiong X., Yu H., Halloran E. Longini M., Vespignani A., The effect of travel restrictions on the spread of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Science (2020) 368:395-400.
[11] Aldila D. Khoshnaw S., RaisAnwar E.Y., Bakry A., Samiadji B., Anugerah D., Alfarizi M., Ayulani I., Salim, Sh., A mathematical study on the spread of COVID-19 considering social distancing and rapid assessment: the case of Jakarta, Indonesia, Chaos Solitons Fractals (2020) 139:110042.
[12] Beck M.J., Hensher D.A., Insights into the impact of COVID-19 on household travel and activities in Australia –the early days under restrictions, Transport Policy (2020) 96:76–93.
[13] de Haas M., Faber R., Hamersma M., How COVID-19 and the Dutch ‘intelli- gent lockdown’ change activities, work and travel behaviour: evidence from lon- gitudinal data in the Netherlands, Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives (2020) 6:100150.
[14] Cohen M.J., Does the COVID-19 outbreak mark the onset of a sustainable con sumption transition? Sustainability (2020) 16:1-3.
[15] Pirouz B., Haghshenas S.S., Haghshenas S.Sh., Piro P., Investigating a serious challenge in the sustainable development process: analysis of confirmed cases of COVID-19 (new type of coronavirus) through a binary classification using artificial intelligence and regression analysis, Sustainability (2020) 6:1-23.
[16] Sohrabi C., Alsafi Z., O'Neill N., MehdiKhan Kerwan A., Al-Jabir A., Iosifidis Ch., Agha R., World Health Organization declares global emergency: a review of the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19), International Journal of Surgery (2020) 76:71-76.
[17] Jiang P., Fu X., VanFan Y., Klemeš J., Chen P., Ma S., Zhang W., Spatial-temporal potential exposure risk analytics and urban sustainability impacts related to COVID-19 mitigation: a perspective from car mobility behavior, Journal of Cleaner Production (2021) 279;123673.
[18] Daraei H., Toolabian K., Kazempour M., Javanbakht M., The role of the environment and its pollution in the prevalence of COVID-19, Journal of Infection (2020) 81(2):168-169.
[19] Wu X., Nether R.C., Sabath B.M., Braun D., Dominici F., Exposure to air pollution and COVID-19 mortality in the United States: a nationwide cross-sectional study,  medRxiv (2020) 1-36.
[20] Conticini E., Frediani B., Caro D., Can atmospheric pollution be considered a co– factor in extremely high level of SARS-CoV-2 lethality in Northern Italy? Environmental Pollution (2020) 261:114465.
[21] Travaglio M., Yu Y., Popovic R., Leal N.S., Martins L.M., Links between air pollution and COVID-19 in England, Environmental Pollution (2020) 268:115859.
[22] Karan A., Ali K., Teelucksingh S., Sakhamouri S., The impact of air pollution on the incidence and mortality of COVID-19, global health res policy (2020) 39(5):527-532.
[23] Coker E.S., Cavalli L., Fabrizi E., Guastella G., Lippo E., Parisi M.L., Pontarollo N., Rizzati M., Varacca A. , Vergalli S., The Effects of Air Pollution on COVID-19 Related Mortality in Northern Italy, Environmental Resource Economy (2020) 76:611-634.
[24] Pozzer A., Dominici F., Haines A., Witt Ch., Münzel T., Lelieveld J., Regional and global contributions of air pollution to risk of death from COVID-19,  Cardiovascular Research (2020) 116(14):2247-2253.
[25] Shan J., Ni Y., Dong W., Xu JH., Pan L., Li HY., The effect of short-term exposureto ambient NO(2) on lung function and fractional exhaled nitric oxide in33 chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients, Chinese Journal of Preventive Medicine (2017)51(6):527-532.
[26] Khan S.A.R., Yu Zh., Belhadi A., Mardani A., Investigating the effects of renewable energy on interna- tional trade and environmental quality, Journal of Environmental Management (2020) 272:111089.
[27] Impact of on the Biofuels industry and implications for corn and soybean marketsPurdue University, 13 April 2020.
[28] (accessed on 18 October 2020).
[29] IEA (2020), Renewable energy market update, IEA, Paris
[30] Cooperation for clean air must be at the heart of a green recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, available at (accessed on 26 August 2020).
[31] Munawer M.E., Human health and environmental impacts of coal combustion and post-combustion wastes, Journal of Sustainable Mining (2018)17(2):87-96.
[32] M Palash S., Kalam M.A., Masjuki H.H., Masum B.M., Rizwanul Fattah I.M., Mofijur M., Impacts of biodiesel combustion on NOx emissions and their reduction approaches,  Renewable Sustainable Energy Reviews (2013) 23:473-490.
[33] Fattah I.M.R., Masjuki H.H., Liaquat A.M., Ramli R., Kalam M.A., Riazuddin V.L., Impact of various biodiesel fuels obtained from edible and non-edible oils on engine exhaust gas and noise emissions, Renewable Sustainable Energy Reviews (2013) 18:552-567.
[34] Mofijur M., Atabani A.E., Masjuki H.H., Kalam M.A., Masum B.M., A study on the effects of promising edible and non-edible biodiesel feedstocks on engine performance and emissions production: a comparative evaluation, Renewable Sustainable Energy Reviews (2013)23:391-404.
[35] Ashraful A.M., Masjuki H.H., Kalam M.A., Rizwanul Fattah I.M., Imtenan S., Shahir S.A., Mobarak H.M., Production and comparison of fuel properties, engine performance, and emission characteristics of biodiesel from various non-edible vegetable oils: a review, Energy Conversion and Management (2014) 80:202-228.
[36] Huang Y., Mok W.-c., Yam Y.-s., Zhou J. L., Surawski, N. C., Organ, B., Chan, E. F. C., Mofijur, M., Mahlia T. M. I., Ong H. C.. Evaluating in-use vehicle emissions using air quality monitoring stations and on-road remote sensing system, Science of The Total Environment (2020) 740:139686.
[37] Measuring air pollution in a post-COVID-19 world (2020, September 18) retrieved 5 December 2020 from
[38] Air pollution goes down as Europe takes hard measures to combat Coronavirus, available at: (accessed on 23 November 2020).
[39] Zhou L., Li F., Wu S., Zhou M., School’s out, but class’s on”, the largest online education in the World Today: Taking China’s practical exploration during the COVID-19 epidemic prevention and control as an example, Best Evidence of Chinese Education (2020) 4(2):501–519.
[40] Watts, JKommenda, N. (2020). Coronavirus pandemic leading to huge drop in air pollution (pp. 2–5). The Guardian. Retrieved April 20, 2020, (
[41] Shadidi B., Yusaf T., Haji Agha Alizadeh H., Ghobadian B, Experimental investigation of the tractor engine performance using diesohol fuel, Applied Energy (2014) 114:874-879.
[42] Shadidi, B., Haji Agha Alizade H., Najafi Gh., Performance and exergy analysis of a diesel engine run on petrodiesel and biodiesel blends containing mixed CeO2 and MoO3 nanocatalyst, Biofuels (2020): 1779976. 
[43] IEA (2020), the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on clean energy progress, IEA, Paris (accessed on 11 Jun 2020).
[44] IEA (2020), Global Energy Review 2020, IEA, Paris (accessed on April 2020).
[45] IEA, Change in global primary energy demand, 1900 to 2020e, IEA, Paris (accessed on 15 Jun 2020).
[46] EA, Annual change in global energy-related CO2 emissions, 1900-2020, IEA, Paris (accessed on 30 April 2020).