How do the research and public communities view biofuel development?

Qiankun Zhao, Ximing Cai, William Mischo, Liyuan Ma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding how public and research view biofuel development, especially the unsynchronized views, can explain the gaps between the actual biofuel production and consumption and the government mandates in the US. Applying a comparative text mining technique, these views are explored using 9924 news articles and 57,849 research abstracts. It is found both the public and research communities respond actively to major policy and incentive programs and market conditions and the public has been closely following important research advances. However, research and practice should be coordinated to achieve economies of scale for regular and alternative biofuels. Priority is particularly needed for policy research to support legislation and enforcement and remove technical barriers to commercialization; meanwhile, greater attention is needed to prompt the commercialization of mature technologies. In addition, sentiment analysis shows positive public perceptions in general and negative perceptions primarily stemming from fraud in biofuel tax-credit programs with minor concerns on unintended negative impacts of biofuel development and policy implementation issues. This study contributes to methodology by using cutting-edge text-mining techniques to the largest and most up-to-date datasets of public news articles and research publication abstracts so as to compare public and academic views on biofuel development. This study also contributes to knowledge discovery by providing new perspectives on biofuel development, which will support policy design and identify future research directions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110265
JournalRenewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews
StatePublished - Nov 2020


  • Biofuel
  • Scientific community
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Social view
  • Text mining

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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