Skip to main content

Questions tagged [fuels]

Use this tag when discussing chemicals for use in powering any variety of technology. Fuels may include anything from unleaded gasoline to radioactive elements, coal, oil, or even whale fat.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
12 votes
10 answers
3k views

Ways to refuel nuclear powered cars

I am working on a story set on a world where cars (or in a broader sense road based vehicles) are the main transport mode (aircraft have never been invented here and most bodies of water are so small ...
Blue Devil's user avatar
  • 1,881
9 votes
8 answers
2k views

What is the easiest fuel a blockaded, sanctioned nation can procure/synthesize during a war?

In my world, which is partially based on a WW2-style environment, there are two large countries, namely A and B, that are fighting each other. A is a Nazi Germany-type country with fine revised ...
Alastor's user avatar
  • 3,422
11 votes
11 answers
4k views

Post-apocalyptic automotive fuel for a cold world?

I am writing a scifi story in which Earth's orbit has been altered, making the planet generally colder. This has made the northern hemisphere, as well as most of the southern, practically inhospitable....
The Square-Cube Law's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
203 views

Non-liquid fuel produced biologically in a carbon-based lifeform

I have a creature that was bio-engineered by an extremely capable society, and I need it to "produce" an explosive* fuel that is contained within the outer layer of flesh/fur. This fuel ...
LornestFluke's user avatar
-3 votes
1 answer
104 views

Other ways "Fossil fuels" can form [closed]

For clarification my question is: What are some other ways hydrocarbons can form? Okay for context in my world people traveled to another planet and found hydrocarbons in the ground (coal, oil and ...
Venik Hue's user avatar
  • 1,212
2 votes
2 answers
378 views

What would be the ideal reaction mass for hall-effect engines?

The Setting In a bright future, after the brutally efficient totalitarian dystopia-state that once controlled solar systems fell to its own people, the world is still getting back on its feet. They ...
Sam Kitsune's user avatar
  • 1,994
5 votes
1 answer
347 views

How to harvest/produce industrial amounts of metallic hydrogen

For those not versed in theoretical states of matter, Metallic Hydrogen is a semi-fluid phase of hydrogen that acts like a metal, able to conduct electrons. It's also theorized to be potent rocket ...
redfrogcrab's user avatar
  • 1,356
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

Fuel for vehicles in an abruptly abandoned world

The scenario: in September 1985, almost everyone abruptly disappears. Humans, domestic animals, carried/worn possessions, and vehicles currently in motion, vanish, while everything else stays as it ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 4,906
0 votes
2 answers
426 views

How would higher oxygen content affect engine and fuels?

If oxygen %age of atmosphere was raised to i) 25% . ii) 30% . iii) 35% How much would it affect the power output/fuel efficiency of current engines? Engines being 1) Petrol Engines . 2) Diesel Engines ...
SparkShredder's user avatar
8 votes
7 answers
585 views

Social status by fuel used?

In this universe contained self sustaining fusion has been achieved. As we know the fuel for fusion is most commonly isotopes of hydrogen, and helium is produced as a byproduct of that. Helium is, as ...
Topcode's user avatar
  • 2,295
18 votes
13 answers
5k views

What would a spacefaring race use as fuel for their matter-to-energy reactors?

Imagine that we invent the technology to convert matter directly to energy, and capture most of the output for doing work. We can convert any matter to energy in this way, i.e. the matter does not ...
Tom's user avatar
  • 15.1k
10 votes
6 answers
1k views

Why would hydrogen bubble up from the sea floor?

I am thinking of a world where bubbles of hydrogen emerge from the seafloor, and are trapped by people for use as fuel. But what is the source of the hydrogen? In other words, what geological or maybe ...
wokopa's user avatar
  • 4,735
11 votes
9 answers
4k views

Plausibility of a car running on noble gasses

Is there any science-based way that one could explain cars running not on natural gas (autogas) but rather on noble gasses like Neon, Argon and/or Xenon?
Blue Devil's user avatar
  • 1,881
2 votes
7 answers
225 views

Alternative Fuel types for motor vehicles [closed]

I have this world where aircraft don't exist and water travel is nigh zero, so all travel and transport over any distance too long to reasonably walk is done by car/van/bus/truck etc. Nearly every ...
Blue Devil's user avatar
  • 1,881
0 votes
1 answer
94 views

Is a biofuel-backed currency viable? [closed]

I have a world where there are no fossil fuel deposits. This means that biofuels - fuels artificially created out of biological matter, rather than via geological processes - are the sole hydrocarbons ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
6 votes
7 answers
1k views

How would modern naval warfare be altered by a complete lack of fossil fuels?

Long story short, a bunch of people terraformed a planet and then were immediately technologically and societally forced back to the Stone Age thanks to interference/extermination/general-not-goodness ...
KEY_ABRADE's user avatar
  • 13.1k
0 votes
2 answers
234 views

Are boomalopes possible? aka a species that produces a flammable fuel?

I was inspired by this creature in a game called rimworld the creature when killed explodes and leaves a fireball ,and a corpse , when it does. The sacks on it contain a liquid that can be used as ...
neo flare's user avatar
  • 1,415
8 votes
6 answers
3k views

Would aliens use the same fuel as us, if not what would they use?

Would aliens on a entirely different planet to earth still use the same rocket fuel as us? If not what are the alternatives? The planet has an escape velocity of 17 km/s, an atmosphere roughly ...
Katze's user avatar
  • 569
2 votes
3 answers
268 views

Designing a low technology flamethrower with limited resources

This is an extention of these question: Using dead bodies for material 4: ammunition and Arming all untrained people with firearms, which weapon would do? The world is suffering from the creatures of ...
Demigan's user avatar
  • 45.4k
5 votes
3 answers
371 views

Using dead bodies for material 3: fuel

The world is suffering from the creatures of fantasy and nightmares which can appear with just a few minutes of warning anywhere, regardless of it being the middle of the street or on top of your bed ...
Demigan's user avatar
  • 45.4k
5 votes
3 answers
541 views

What would these demons use in place of wood?

Demons live deep in the underworld. The underworld is a strange place: It is a cave system, composed mainly many extremely large caverns, with a few wide corridors connecting them. The ground of these ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 16.2k
5 votes
3 answers
135 views

Monoreactant pathway for electrical power and thrust using only hydrogen?

In Space Engineers, Hydrogen is employed as a fuel for both propulsion and for electrical power (via the Hydrogen Thruster and Hydrogen Engine, respectively). This feels unrealistic to me, and I am ...
William Walker III's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
134 views

Using a wormhole to get propellant in space?

Would it be possible for a spaceship to fly through space with the propellant stored off-ship through a wormhole? The propellant-tender end of the wormhole wouldn't need to move, so the ship-end ...
Ichthys King's user avatar
  • 16.2k
4 votes
6 answers
193 views

Cheap and Efficient material (real or not) to power thrusters that could be used for space ships that work in and out of atmospheres

Takes place in an advance sci-fi setting where old alien races have found new laws of physics. (aka the mcguffin to make this work) I need some sort of material that is theoretically possible, but we ...
CausticNickel's user avatar
5 votes
4 answers
500 views

What environmental conditions would result in Crude oil being far easier to access than coal?

So, A bit of a long winded explanation: I am designing a world that is meant to be both nostalgic and alien; A world that is familiar enough at first glance, but has many differences to ours. One ...
Globin347's user avatar
  • 5,797
4 votes
2 answers
252 views

Would a Liquid-Metal battery be practical for powering an airship

So, I know that battery powered planes aren't practical, because there just isn't enough power to weight. However, What about an airship? Airships don't have to move to stay aloft. How would this work ...
Globin347's user avatar
  • 5,797
2 votes
3 answers
280 views

What's the best fuel for a lander?

For background, read my question. What would be scientifically the best way to get the lander out of the atmosphere? It is 12ft high and 15 ft long. It's about 11,000 pounds of dry weight (tell me ...
Anderson's user avatar
  • 365
1 vote
2 answers
128 views

Is there a semi-dense deuterium state?

Deuterium as Fusion Fuel For a future fusion thruster I was going to use a deuterium fusion drive similar to the Epstein drive from the Expanse. I've looked into the fuel sources online as well as ...
Markitect's user avatar
  • 1,031
0 votes
6 answers
1k views

Can a secondary fuel economy ever be hardened against attacks?

If a society fully centralized their energy supply to a secondary fuel (artificial energy source like Hydrogen or batteries), the public loses the ability to directly access energy from the earth. ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
  • 8,169
3 votes
9 answers
1k views

What would be the most practical raw fuel for a hydrogen economy?

In a near-future world we have stopped directly fueling private, public, and mass transit and we have migrated to a hydrogen economy as the standard energy carrier. Consider the following factors: ...
Vogon Poet's user avatar
  • 8,169
3 votes
6 answers
819 views

is there other possible/exotic fuel for fire other than common/normal oil/fuel? [closed]

so my question was VTC because it was considered as setting so i guess i need to remove the reason part (i dont think it harm much to the already answered part), if some of you curious about the ...
Li Jun's user avatar
  • 8,899
9 votes
6 answers
655 views

Scientifically accurate fuel for a small spaceship

I'm designing a small two-person spaceship for use in battles in space. It is set around the year 2100. It would be around the size of a tank (approx. 50 tons). It would need to be fast and easy to ...
Finn E's user avatar
  • 91
2 votes
3 answers
169 views

What are the chances of national superpower declaring war and launching nukes at each other over remaining petroleum reserves? [closed]

I am a fan of the movie Mad Max: Fury Road. In the beginning of the movie, people speak of "Oil Wars" and people "Killing for Guzzolene (Gasoline)". But what are the odds of that happening? And could ...
Kevin O'Donnell's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
4k views

Can human remains be turned into crude oil?

I have a potential sub-plot in a story that takes place in the not too distant future where most of the world's fossil fuels are exhausted or contaminated (war reasons more than environmental) and ...
SEK1977's user avatar
  • 377
1 vote
1 answer
146 views

What chemicals can be used as an alternative fuel in an Internal Combustion engine, that are environmentally friendly? [closed]

As most people know, not all animals on earth benefit from humans driving vehicles that warm the globe and produce horrible chemicals, such as Carbon dioxide and Nitrogen oxide. My question What ...
Boolean's user avatar
  • 1,839
6 votes
3 answers
613 views

Spaceship fuel on Europa

What would make a good propulsion source for small engines and manouvering thrusters for spacecraft vehicles on Europa (moon of Jupiter), both for near-surface operations (vacuum) and in caves beneath ...
Innovine's user avatar
  • 6,084
8 votes
4 answers
377 views

Propulsion Systems

In my world, 500 years in the future, my population fits anti-gravity engines to salvaged boats as a form of transport. These transports fly close to the Earth's surface and are powered by a highly ...
Lucas A.'s user avatar
  • 428
0 votes
4 answers
225 views

Fuel for a commercial space shuttle

The Aurora company has unveiled the new Interplanetary Airliner (usually simplified to space shuttle) offering both affordable and comfortable space travel to the middle and upper classes of the ...
Celestial Dragon Emperor's user avatar
9 votes
7 answers
946 views

Repurposing A Cargo Ship In A Post-Apocalyptic World

How would one go about repurposing a small cargo ship, no more than 50,000 tons, to run on an alternative fuel source/propulsion other than oil? And what alternative source would work best for ...
Cosmic Orrery's user avatar
5 votes
10 answers
4k views

What energy sources would a species use if they didn't have access to fossil fuels?

I'm designing an alien race that hasn't developed electricity yet. Now, one thing about their species is that they haven't discovered fossil fuels on their planet to use, like coal, oil, etc. (The ...
ΓΙΑΝΝΗΣ ΜΙΧΑΗΛΙΔΗΣ's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
746 views

What kind of fuel would spaceships capable of faster-than-light travel use? [closed]

In my book series, faster-than-light travel is a thing, allowing the fastest spaceships to cross a Milky-Way-sized galaxy in a matter of days. The slower ships could manage that in about 2 weeks. ...
The Weasel Sagas's user avatar
16 votes
14 answers
4k views

Alternative source of fuel instead of wood

In my world, humans live on an island. The island is not real big, there is a volcano, a river around which is a marsh.The forest on the island is sacred for them so they cannot enter it and cannot ...
Asganius 's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
863 views

Mobile Post-Apocalypse Shelter

So there was a nuclear apocalypse. It doesn't really matter why. Most people now, about a few decades or so later, are scavengers. They take pre-nukes things and use them for shelter and utilities. ...
AzaleaGarden's user avatar
  • 1,695
-1 votes
3 answers
272 views

Are the petroleum deposits correlated to the dinosaurs extintion?

I am designing an alternate world where the meteorite that caused the massive dinosaurs extinction never hit Earth. I am stuck in one point: If the massive deaths of the dinosaurs worldwide never ...
Carlos Zamora's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
422 views

Amount of Farmland Needed to Produce Biodiesel

Consider a post-Apocalyptic society of collective farmers that has access to a waning supply of modern farm supplies, a small, independent power grid, and a enough knowledge to keep themselves fed ...
Geoffrey Carlton's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
462 views

Would a magnetic monopole rocket engine produce more energy than an ion engine?

Would a starship that was propelled by magnetic monopoles fly faster and longer than ion engines (assuming magnetic monopoles exist) of course.
user73829's user avatar
  • 869
6 votes
4 answers
242 views

Chemicals for a biorocket

A civilization is very good at bio-engineering, and I was wondering if there was any kind of chemical an organism could produce which would produce viable rocket fuel. It has to do a of couple of ...
OneSurvivor's user avatar
  • 3,082
5 votes
4 answers
5k views

How would technology differ, if fossil fuels never existed?

Although the fossil fuel coal had been used as a fuel since 1,000 B.C., it wasn't until the arrival of the Industrial Revolution from the mid-1700s through the 1800s that coal began to replace biomass ...
Cthulhu's user avatar
  • 169
3 votes
3 answers
265 views

Surveying fossil fuel deposits from the air

On Earth in 2017, finding oil or coal deposits is a tall order. However, consider a science fiction scenario where we find a habitable planet that hasn't hosted an intelligent species in at least a ...
rwallace's user avatar
  • 4,906
3 votes
7 answers
405 views

What could cause alien civilizations to be stranded on earth?

I'm not talking about a single alien civilization that is stranded on earth, I'm talking about multiple civilizations that will cause major overpopulation on earth. So this means that the ...
genfy's user avatar
  • 133