Non-Equilibrium Thermodynamics of Transport
This chapter presents in relatively simple terms the basic concepts of non-equilibrium thermodynamics (NET), and shows how these concepts can be used for the macroscopic description and evaluation of bioenergetic phenomena. The chemical and physical processes with which we are concerned in biophysics are, in the thermodynamic sense, irreversible, and generally do not take place at, or close to, equilibrium. The classical thermodynamic approach, however, is based on the consideration of equilibrium states, and its methodology depends on the notion of reversible processes, i.e. hypothetical ideal processes that can occur without disturbing equilibrium. It is a far cry from such idealized systems to the living cell — hence the need for a more comprehensive biothermodynamics. This need is exactly what NET, even in its simplest linear form, can often fulfill [1–3].
KeywordsIrreversible Process Dissipation Function Vectorial Process Phenomenological Equation GIBBS Equation
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- S.R. CAPLAN and A. ESSIG, Bioenergetics and Linear Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics - The Steady State, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., (1983).Google Scholar
- A. KATCHALSKY and P.F. CURRAN, Non-equilibrium Thermodynamics in Biophysics, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Mass., (1965).Google Scholar
- H.V. WESTERHOFF and K. van DAM in Current Topics in Bioenergetics, D.R. Sanadi (Editor), Academic Press, New York, (1979), Vol. 9, p. 1.Google Scholar
- I. PRIGOGINE, Introduction to Thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes, Wiley, New York, (1961).Google Scholar