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Eco-thermodynamics: exergy and life cycle analysis

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This paper argues that thermodynamics offers means of accounting both for resources and wastes in a systematic and uniform way. The new feature of the present work is to extend the applications of exergy analysis into the realm of resource and waste accounting, and to present the results in an integrated analytical framework, namely life cycle analysis (LCA). To do this for a non-specialist audience requires considerable background explanation. This is done in part I (sections 1 through 6). Applications and examples are discussed in subsequent sections (part II). The paper concludes that the proposed measure (which we call exergy hereafter) is indeed feasible for general statistical use, both as a measure of resource stocks and flows, and as a measure of waste emissions and potential for causing environmental harm

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