Enthalpy - Applications


In thermodynamics, one can calculate enthalpy by determining the requirements for creating a system from "nothingness"; the mechanical work required, pV, differs based upon the constancy of conditions present at the creation of the thermodynamic system.

Internal energy, U, must be supplied to remove particles from a surrounding in order to allow space for the creation of a system, providing that environmental variables, such as pressure (p) remain constant. This internal energy also includes the energy required for activation and the breaking of bonded compounds into gaseous species.

This process is calculated within enthalpy calculations as U + pV, to label the amount of energy or work required to "set aside space for" and "create" the system; describing the work done by both the reaction or formation of systems, and the surroundings. For systems at constant pressure, the change in enthalpy is the heat received by the system.

Therefore, the change in enthalpy can be devised or represented without the need for compressive or expansive mechanics; for a simple system, with a constant number of particles, the difference in enthalpy is the maximum amount of thermal energy derivable from a thermodynamic process in which the pressure is held constant.

The term pV is the work required to displace the surrounding atmosphere in order to vacate the space to be occupied by the system.

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