The battle for biomass: A systematic review of food-feed-fuel competition

A. Muscat*, E.M. de Olde, I.J.M. de Boer, R. Ripoll-Bosch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

182 Citations (Scopus)


We review 75 studies on the competition for biomass and production resources such as land, water, labour and capital across food, feed and fuel production. We identified seven factors that are key to the availability and effective use of biomass and production resources. These ranged from ones related to production, such as crop yields to ones related to policy. Many of these factors resulted in trade-offs across different uses of biomass. Studies had different perspectives (e.g. economic, biophysical) on setting priorities for biomass and suggested different solutions to address competition (e.g. marginal lands). To connect these perspectives we suggest a framework that prioritises biomass and production resources for the use of human food before its use as feed or bioenergy.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100330
JournalGlobal Food Security
Early online date28 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • Biomass cascade
  • Circular biomass use
  • Food versus feed versus bioenergy
  • Sustainable resource use


Dive into the research topics of 'The battle for biomass: A systematic review of food-feed-fuel competition'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this