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Fuel vs. Gas: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 10, 2024
Fuel is a broad term for any substance used for energy production, while gas specifically refers to a state of matter used as a fuel type.

Key Differences

Fuel encompasses a variety of substances, including solids, liquids, and gases, used for energy. Gas, however, specifically refers to the gaseous state of a substance used as a fuel, such as natural gas or gasoline vapor.
Fuels can be renewable or non-renewable, including biomass, coal, and oil, while gas often refers to substances like propane, butane, or natural gas, which are typically hydrocarbons.
Fuels are used in various applications, from powering vehicles to heating homes. In contrast, gas is used specifically in contexts requiring gaseous fuel, like gas stoves or gas-powered engines.
The term "fuel" has a broader scope, applicable in any context where energy is needed. Gas, in its technical sense, is limited to the gaseous substances used for similar purposes.
All gases used for energy can be considered fuels, but not all fuels are gases. The term "gas" can also colloquially refer to gasoline, a liquid fuel.

Comparison Chart

State of Matter

Solids, liquids, or gases
Specifically gases


Includes coal, oil, biomass, gasoline
Natural gas, propane, butane


Broad applications in energy production
Used in gas-specific applications

Renewable Status

Can be renewable or non-renewable
Often non-renewable, but includes biogas


Gasoline (liquid), wood (solid)
Natural gas, gasoline vapor (in engines)

Fuel and Gas Definitions


Fuel includes substances like oil, gas, and coal.
The car's engine requires liquid fuel, such as gasoline.


Gas is used for its efficiency and clean burning.
Many cities use gas-powered buses for cleaner transportation.


Fuel powers engines, generators, and heaters.
Diesel fuel is essential for many large vehicles.


Gas is a fuel in a gaseous state used for energy.
Natural gas is a common fuel for home heating systems.


Fuel is any material that stores energy for later use.
Coal was historically a dominant fuel for industrial power.


Gas includes natural gas, propane, and butane.
Propane gas grills are popular for outdoor cooking.


Renewable fuels are derived from sustainable sources.
Biofuels are becoming a popular renewable fuel.


Gasoline, often called gas, powers internal combustion engines.
She filled her car with gas at the service station.


Fuel efficiency is key in modern energy discussions.
Car manufacturers focus on improving fuel efficiency.


Gas is a key resource in the energy sector.
Gas pipelines are essential for energy distribution.


A material such as wood, coal, gas, or oil burned to produce heat or power.


The state of matter distinguished from the solid and liquid states by relatively low density and viscosity, relatively great expansion and contraction with changes in pressure and temperature, the ability to diffuse readily, and the spontaneous tendency to become distributed uniformly throughout any container.


Fissionable material used in a nuclear reactor.


What is fuel?

Fuel is any substance that can be used to produce energy.

What is gas in the context of fuel?

Gas refers to a gaseous state material used as a fuel.

Are all gases considered fuel?

Not all gases are fuel, only those used for energy production.

Can fuel be a solid or liquid?

Yes, fuel can be in solid, liquid, or gaseous form.

Is propane a natural or artificial gas?

Propane is a natural gas, often found in petroleum deposits.

Is gasoline a gas or a liquid?

Gasoline is a liquid, but it's often colloquially called "gas."

Is natural gas renewable?

Natural gas is non-renewable, but biogas is a renewable alternative.

What are examples of solid fuels?

Coal and wood are common solid fuels.

How is gas used in households?

Gas is often used for heating and cooking.

How is fuel efficiency measured?

It's measured by the amount of energy produced per unit of fuel.

Can gas be stored for long periods?

Yes, with proper containment, gas can be stored safely.

How is gas transported?

Gas is transported through pipelines or in compressed form.

Why is gasoline a popular fuel for vehicles?

It's energy-dense and readily available.

Are there alternatives to gas for home heating?

Yes, alternatives include electricity and solar energy.

What fuels are used in cars?

Cars use liquid fuels like gasoline and diesel.

Can gas be used to generate electricity?

Yes, natural gas is commonly used in power plants.

What makes a fuel renewable?

A fuel is renewable if it comes from a sustainable source.

Are electric cars considered fuel-powered?

They are powered by electricity, not traditional fuel.

What is the role of fuel in industrial processes?

Fuel powers machinery and industrial operations.

What environmental impacts do fuels have?

Fuels, especially fossil fuels, contribute to pollution and climate change.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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