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Robert U Ayres (1999)

The second law, the fourth law, recycling and limits to growth

Ecological Economics, 29(3):473 - 483.

Despite counter examples in nature, it has been argued that total recycling is impossible for an industrial society as a consequence of the second law of thermodynamics. In this paper it is shown that there is no such limitation. However, it is also shown that there must be a large stockpile of inactive materials as well as an exogenous source of exergy (e.g. from the sun) for a stable steady-state recycling system to function. The paper also discusses (briefly) some of the implications for economic growth.

Fourth Law

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Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad
Ulysea S.L. - Informática

Thermodynamics for Sustainable Management of Natural Resources

Cover Thermodynamics

Wojciech Stanek (Editor)

This book examines ways of assessing the rational management of nonrenewable resources. Integrating numerous methods, it systematically exposes the strengths of exergy analysis in resources management.

Thanatia: The Destiny of the Earth's Mineral Resources

Cover Thanatia

A Thermodynamic Cradle-to-Cradle Assessment by (author): Antonio Valero Capilla and Alicia Valero Delgado

Is Gaia becoming Thanatia, a resource exhausted planet? For how long can our high-tech society be sustained in the light of declining mineral ore grades, heavy dependence on un-recycled critical metals and accelerated material dispersion? These are all root causes of future disruptions that need to be addressed today.