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Ludovico Susani, Federico M Pulselli, Sven E Jørgensen, and Simone Bastianoni (2006)

Comparison between technological and ecological exergy

Ecological Modelling, 193(3–4):447 - 456.

Exergy function was basically developed in the fields of engineering and is the most useful function to solve problems related to cost-optimization procedures of energy conversion systems and energy policies. However, in the last decades, this function has also been proposed as a tool able to study complex systems, such as ecological systems. The exergy function proposed by Jørgensen, called eco-exergy, is investigated in this paper because of its formulation that differs from the classical one. The two main differences are in the changed reference state, which is more useful for ecological applications, and the contribution of informational exergy that is taken into account. This paper shows how moving from macroscopic to microscopic information storage the exergetic contribution due to information grows and it becomes even three orders of magnitude higher than physical one in the more complex living systems. The capacity of packaging information at the molecular level (DNA) that differs from one organism to another can be taken into account using eco-exergy function.

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