Reference States

Publication Type Journal Article
Year 1980
Journal Energy
Primary Author Ahrendts, Joachim
Volume 5
Issue 8
Pages 666-677
DOI 10.1016/0360-5442(80)90087-0
Abstract Reference states crucially determine the availability of all systems. This paper examines the necessary conditions imposed on any definition of reference states by thermodynamic theory, and stresses the requirement of the reference system to be in internal equilibrium. The degree of determination of the reference system necessary for availability balances is discussed. The reference systems in current use are reviewed, and it is shown that they are not suitable to give an accurate value of the chemical contribution to a system's availability. To include the chemical contribution in a consistent way, the author proposes an equilibrium system formed by the atmosphere, the oceans, and a layer of the solid crust of the earth to define a reference state. There is a surprising implication concerning the availability of oxygen, which is discussed.
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