Exergy: Environmental Impact Assessment

Authored by: Marc A. Rosen

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:


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Exergy can help understand and mitigate environmental impact because exergy is a measure of the departure of a substance from equilibrium with a specified reference environment, which is often modeled as the actual environment. Furthermore, exergy is a measure of potential of a substance to cause change, so the exergy of an emission is a measure of the potential of the substance to change or impact the environment. Thus, exergy may be, or provide the basis for, an indicator of the potential of an emitted substance to impact the environment. Additionally, exergy can provide a measure of ecosystem health and can be used in managing ecosystems. This entry describes exergy and its use via exergy analysis, the reference environment in exergy analysis, the relations between both exergy and environmental impact and exergy and ecosystems, and how environmental impact assessment and reduction can be accomplished with exergy methods.

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