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Research Journal of Environmental Sciences
  Year: 2017 | Volume: 11 | Issue: 1 | Page No.: 18-28
DOI: 10.3923/rjes.2017.18.28
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Limits Imposed by the Second Law of Thermodynamics on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions to the Atmosphere

R. Berthiaume and M.A. Rosen

Background and Objective: Society is moving toward unconventional oil and gas exploitation and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. The main objective of this research is to develop an exergy based conceptual framework that integrates all aspects of fuel production from resource extraction to environmental protection, including CO2 abatement. Materials and Methods: A multistep deterministic method, from Carnot to exergy analysis, is used to develop a conceptual framework with the help of information from the literature. The approach used in this study mirrors some initial steps in the development of exergy analysis that can be found in Carnot’s work, but the focus is on resource flow rather than maximum work or efficiency. The hypothesis that the flow of fossil resources to produce fuel is related to source-sink properties explored with a simple case related to heat transfer. The possible transposition of this simple case to fuel production is examined to provide insights into the possible uses of the conceptual development. Results: This paper proposes an exergy based conceptual source-sink approach, following Carnot’s theory, to understand the complex problem of fuel production in relation to CO2 abatement. The source is defined by natural resources and their associated quality and one sink is the atmosphere or any CO2 confinement option. Conclusion: The proposed conceptual framework for source-sink exergy analysis of resource flow could improve our understanding of the thermodynamic limits and the sustainability of energy and material production.
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How to cite this article:

R. Berthiaume and M.A. Rosen, 2017. Limits Imposed by the Second Law of Thermodynamics on Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions to the Atmosphere. Research Journal of Environmental Sciences, 11: 18-28.

DOI: 10.3923/rjes.2017.18.28






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