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Entropy 2015, 17(11), 7786-7797;

The Second Law Today: Using Maximum-Minimum Entropy Generation

Dipartimento Energia, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Industriale, Università di Firenze, Via S. Marta 3, 50139 Firenze, Italy
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kevin Knuth
Received: 29 June 2015 / Revised: 5 November 2015 / Accepted: 17 November 2015 / Published: 20 November 2015
Full-Text   |   PDF [747 KB, uploaded 20 November 2015]


There are a great number of thermodynamic schools, independent of each other, and without a powerful general approach, but with a split on non-equilibrium thermodynamics. In 1912, in relation to the stationary non-equilibrium states, Ehrenfest introduced the fundamental question on the existence of a functional that achieves its extreme value for stable states, as entropy does for the stationary states in equilibrium thermodynamics. Today, the new branch frontiers of science and engineering, from power engineering to environmental sciences, from chaos to complex systems, from life sciences to nanosciences, etc. require a unified approach in order to optimize results and obtain a powerful approach to non-equilibrium thermodynamics and open systems. In this paper, a generalization of the Gouy–Stodola approach is suggested as a possible answer to the Ehrenfest question. View Full-Text
Keywords: entropy; entropy generation; entropy production; irreversibility; second law analysis; 05.70.-a; 05.70.Ln entropy; entropy generation; entropy production; irreversibility; second law analysis; 05.70.-a; 05.70.Ln
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Lucia, U.; Grazzini, G. The Second Law Today: Using Maximum-Minimum Entropy Generation. Entropy 2015, 17, 7786-7797.

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