Thermodynamics and kinetics of HT-processes in non-ideal systems

Alessandro Pavese (University of Turin)

Equilibrium thermodynamics provides a fundamental approach to treat a variety of transformations related to large scale systems' "energetics" of deep industrial, societal and economic impact. Industrial energy exchanging processes have been vastly investigated recurring to conventional thermodynamic tools, which have led to develop conceptual instruments such as the Mollier diagrams, commonly used when steam is the energy transmission facility. Notwithstanding this, the equilibrium thermodynamics context of applicability is formally restricted to "ideal" systems, which are characterized by homogeneity and time invariance with respect to their reference observables.

The chapter on "Thermodynamics and kinetics of HT-processes in non-ideal systems" foremost aims to provide some fundamental notions that complement classical equilibrium thermodynamics with a description of irreversible processes and local versus global equilibrium, all this in the frame of both closed and open systems. The evolution as a function of time of a reaction is then viewed through the lens of kinetics, paying attention to the role of the different models that can be formulated.

Such a representation of the chemical reactions of systems that cannot be encompassed by classical thermodynamics is transposed to the real case of municipal solid waste incineration (MSWI), whose process is presented in terms of complexity and interconnection between transformation stages.

Therefore, the ultimate cultural goal at which "Thermodynamics and kinetics of HT-processes in non-ideal systems" aims is to stimulate an awareness of how far classical thermodynamic tools lie with respect to real systems' energetic behaviour, and to give students some guidelines about the complementary strategies to model and interpret so complex a process as MSWI.