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Open AccessArticle

Exergy Dynamics of Systems in Thermal or Concentration Non-Equilibrium

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, 00184 Roma, Italy
Department of Mathematics and Physics, Università Degli Studi Roma Tre, 00146 Roma, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Pouria Ahmadi and Behnaz Rezaie
Entropy 2017, 19(6), 263;
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 29 May 2017 / Accepted: 2 June 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Work Availability and Exergy Analysis)
The paper addresses the problem of the existence and quantification of the exergy of non-equilibrium systems. Assuming that both energy and exergy are a priori concepts, the Gibbs “available energy” A is calculated for arbitrary temperature or concentration distributions across the body, with an accuracy that depends only on the information one has of the initial distribution. It is shown that A exponentially relaxes to its equilibrium value, and it is then demonstrated that its value is different from that of the non-equilibrium exergy, the difference depending on the imposed boundary conditions on the system and thus the two quantities are shown to be incommensurable. It is finally argued that all iso-energetic non-equilibrium states can be ranked in terms of their non-equilibrium exergy content, and that each point of the Gibbs plane corresponds therefore to a set of possible initial distributions, each one with its own exergy-decay history. The non-equilibrium exergy is always larger than its equilibrium counterpart and constitutes the “real” total exergy content of the system, i.e., the real maximum work extractable from the initial system. A systematic application of this paradigm may be beneficial for meaningful future applications in the fields of engineering and natural science. View Full-Text
Keywords: non-equilibrium thermodynamics; exergy; non-equilibrium diffusion non-equilibrium thermodynamics; exergy; non-equilibrium diffusion
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Sciubba, E.; Zullo, F. Exergy Dynamics of Systems in Thermal or Concentration Non-Equilibrium. Entropy 2017, 19, 263.

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