Growing concerns about the impact of industry and other systems on the environment and ecosystems, as well as the effects of energy resource use, have led to an increased interest in environmental protection and ecosystem conservation. This understanding is critical in the quest for a cleaner environment and sustainability.
New approaches to ecology and the environment that provide an engineering perspective and scientific rationale for activities have received particular attention. The integration of exergy, a thermodynamic quantity, with environment and ecology is a new approach that offers great potential for improving environmental and ecological management.
Analyses of environmental impacts and ecological improvements can use methods that combine scientific disciplines (mainly thermodynamics) with environmental and ecological disciplines. Such analyses usually consider thermodynamics via energy content. However, many researchers recommend that ecological and environmental factors are better evaluated using exergy, a thermodynamic quantity. One rationale for this argument is that exergy, rather than energy, can provide a measure of, or form the basis for, the potential for ecological and environmental impacts.
About the Book
This book is divided into four parts. Part1provides introductory and background material, including an explanation of the motivation for writing this book, a brief over view of the disparate but related topics it addresses (energy, environment, society, sustainability, etc.), an introduction to exergy, environment, and ecology, and a history of exergy-based environmental and ecological methods.
The second section describes key concepts and methods. This includes exergy analysis and reference environments suitable for environmental and ecological assessment. In addition, the relationship between exergy and the environment and ecology is examined, and correlations between exergy and other environmental impact indicators are presented.
Finally, exergy-based environmental and ecological methods are identified and described, and extensions of the relationship between exergy and environment and ecology to economics are discussed.