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View Diary: Recent DOE Break-Through with Hydrogen Fuel Cells, should make them Affordable (275 comments)

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  •  teachable thermodynamic moment (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe this will help. In this context (fixed p, T environment) the available work is given by the excess of G, the Gibbs free energy, above its equilibrium value. By the second law, all spontaneous changes are in the direction of lowering G. Combustion is such a change. Therefore it lowers G. In a burning system that process, in which G is lost, occurs before anything starts to extract work. Therefore it causes a loss of available  work. That's why combustion-based heat engines have intrinsic inefficiencies, in addition to practical problems.

    Michael Weissman UID 197542

    by docmidwest on Mon Apr 25, 2011 at 02:26:12 PM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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