Meaning of Fuel

What is Fuel:

Fuel is called all kinds of materials and substances that, after a combustion process, are capable of releasing potential energy that is transformed into usable energy of various types, such as thermal or mechanical energy.

From there it follows that the energy produced has different functions in daily life, such as heating, electrification and activation of machinery.

There are different ways to classify fuel. For example, they can be classified according to the state of matter or according to their origin and composition. Let's see.

Types of fuels according to the state of matter

Solid fuels

They are those that are found in nature in a solid way, such as wood, coal or peat. Wood is widely used in heating homes and industries, as well as in wood-burning cooking. Peat, like wood, is used for heating. Coal can be useful for the same purposes, but it is also useful in moving machinery.

Liquid fuels

They are those that are in a liquid state, almost always at room temperature, although exceptionally they can be at very low temperatures, such as liquid hydrogen. These include: gasoline, kerosene, diesel, ethanol and liquid hydrogen, among others.

Gaseous fuels

They are those that are in a gaseous state and are subjected to liquefaction for storage. Among them: natural gas, butane gas and liquefied petroleum gas.

Types of fuel according to their origin and composition

Fossil fuels

They are those that originate naturally from the organic decomposition of animal and plant fossils, transformed and sedimented over the centuries, such as oil, gas and coal.

See also:

  • Fossil fuel.
  • Combustion.


They are those substances that have their origin in the plant kingdom. The addition of the prefix "bio" indicates that the fuel is renewable. The variety of biofuels can also be classified according to their material state as solid, liquid and gaseous.

Wood is solid biofuel, for example. Among liquid biofuels we can mention bioalcohol or biodiesel. The gaseous biofuels are biogas, carbon dioxide and methane.

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