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Its a gas!

What in a perfect world,would be the best fuel and why?

The best fuel would be one that is both free-of-charge and non-polluting.
The reasons are obvious.

The chance of this type of fuel being available is not very promising, unfortunately.

If we had the technology, and I believe we someday will, solar power is probably the best. It would require a super efficient photovoltaic cell, super energy storage cells (batteries), and super motors.

Or, perhaps someday somebody will figure out how to make nuclear fission and nuclear energy byproducts safe and my answer will change to “nuclear energy”.

That’s the fun part, trying to guess what the next technological breakthroughs will be.

Free renewable non-polluting in plentiful supply efficient, safe, …

The problem is there is no perfect fuel today and there is no one fuel that looks like it is going to be best in the foreseeable future. Time will tell, but right now the search is still on.

If I have to say one, I would suggest fusion in a 100% safe, inexpensive engine.

The best fuel is “any” fuel that a true flex fuel capable vehicle can use or one generated by the consumer. There is so much energy available around us, it’s astonishing why we haven’t yet tapped into it…or is it. When we do, we can get back to fighting wars over morality instead of natural resources as we do now.

Thanks for the replies guys-I believe Alcohol could be a fairly good fuel for reasons not so obivous, when it is said and done gasoline has a few merits.Gasoline is basically a toxic byproduct when you are refining Diesel fuel and kerosene, at least we can burn the stuff for fuel in our motor vehicles,but make no mistake about it,gas is extremly poisonous.IMHO a tanker full of Alcohol if spilt,wouldn’t have near the enviromental impact of a Gasoline spill.
Perhaps someday we will able to store enough kinetic energy via flywheels or something similar to give us a decent range in a vehicle-Kevin

All hydrocarbons are ‘poisonous’. Gasoline is not a ‘byproduct’, it’s one of the high value products of refining crude. Gasoline has the advantage of high BTUs/gallon compared to alcohol. I don’t think there’s much of an issue with crashing tankers, it’s the CO2 that’s the problem, and our need to import a lot of it. Taking those factors into account, I’d prefer EVs from a nuclear-boosted power grid.

This is too open ended. It could mean in the next 20 to 50 years or forever. I suggest that ethanol is the best over the near term (next 20 to 50 years) because it can be used in today’s cars with very little change. It is also renewable. It is not acceptable as long as it takes food out of people’s mouths. It must be cellulosic ethanol manufactured from unused vegetable matter, like grass, corn stalks, and bean plants after harvest. The engines need to be set up to run 100% ethanol, too. The compression ratio must be increased to 14 or so. The internal parts must be capable of handling high compression.

Over the long haul, I would go for batteries or hydrogen fuel cells until Unobtanium comes along.

Well it used to be, when the refining first started for “lamp oil” gas was a usless by product and usually dumped in the the nearest creek-then along came Mr.Otto- you can burn sterno in a tree blind,doubt if you can do the same with regular gas.
when the oil is refined you get more gas than anything else the way I understand it, I believe most petroleum is distilled ,rather then cracked?.Anyway Alcohol is a better fuel in my opinion-Kevin

Well if the grain used for the alcohol feedstock is treated properly,you can reuse it as animal feed with very little diminishing of its feed qualities.Lets face it we will run out of fresh water and topsoil,before we run out of crude oil-Kevin

I agree with your statement that at one time gasoline was considered a nusiance product that came about during the process to refine crude into the product that was desired at the time. You call it lamp oil but wasn’t it really kerosene?

I believe so,however its main use was for kerosene lamps-to replace the costly and increasingly scarce whale oil.There were actually a few IC engines that ran on kerosene,with spark ignition in the early 1900’s-Kevin

I suggest that we don’t want a single best fuel. Look at the mess we are in due to having that right now.

Joe, you are probaly right-but consider what the military is trying to do -Kevin

With a global population of 9 billion people and climbing rapidly, the demands placed on ANY desirable fuel will be tremendous. With a global population of 2 billion people, petroleum becomes cheap, plentiful and its pollution problems become very manageable. This year, Chinese consumers will purchase more new cars (11 million) than U.S. consumers. Americans consider owning personal transportation a birthright. Those days may be drawing to a close…

I know ,the glory days couldn’t last forever.Maybe there is something to 2012 after all-Kevin

In a perfect world, small-scale, controllable nuclear fusion would power everything, with the fuel being Deuterium (heavy water) obtained (alnog w/ salt+ drinking water) from the fractional distillation of seawater. Hard to run out of saltwater, huh?

Last for a good while-Kevin-(would help with the freshwater problem too)

Re: Batteries…
How many tons of polutant coal must be burned to produce enough electricity to charge these batteries?