Difference between Oil and Fuel

Oil vs. Fuel

What is difference between oil and fuel? Both oil and other fuels are widely used natural resources. Both are very important and essential because they supply humanity with their energy needs. However, both are quite different in their definitions. This article will help you to distinguish between toil and fuel, so that you do not use them indistinctly.

Difference between Oil and Fuel


Oil is defined as any neutral, non-polar chemical, which is a viscous liquid at room temperature. But in this case, we use the term oil to refer to fuel oils derived from crude oil and other sources. Oil is defined as a natural fossil fuel liquid that is made up of various hydrocarbons and other organic compounds found on the surface of the Earth.

Oils are distinguished from other fuels by their preparation methods, components and types. When they come from animals or plants; are known as biofuels and unlike common fuels, biofuels are renewable resources.

In old times, humans used to burn wood to produce heat and flames, to cook food. The era is considered as the first fuel to be used by humans. Later on, the oil began to be used, and later on, the oil was discovered. The oil is also used to make other energy products such as diesel, kerosene, chemical lubricants and other substances used in industries.


Fuels are defined as any material containing potential energy in the form of thermal energy. Where, the thermal energy of the material is used or harnessed as mechanical energy through a motor.

They are also defined as substances that have the power to perform mechanical tasks releasing energy, which can be controlled by humans. This energy is what is known as a fuel.

Generally, most fuels release their energy when they are subjected to combustion in the air, that is, through oxidation. However, this is not the case for oil or crude oil. Fuels are also widely used to produce synthetic materials.

Key Differences between Oil and Fuel

  • Fuels are any material that contains potential energy in the form of thermal energy. Where the thermal energy is the one that is used like mechanical energy making use of a motor. Oils are neutral and liquid chemicals at room temperature.
  • There are many types of fuels and oil is just one of those types.
  • Not all fuels are oil based and not all oils are combustible.