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ERIC Number: EJ1079262
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Oct
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0021-9584
Investigating Friction as a Main Source of Entropy Generation in the Expansion of Confined Gas in a Piston-and-Cylinder Device
Kang, Dun-Yen; Liou, Kai-Hsin; Chang, Wei-Lun
Journal of Chemical Education, v92 n10 p1667-1671 Oct 2015
The expansion or compression of gas confined in a piston-and-cylinder device is a classic working example used for illustrating the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. The balance of energy and entropy enables the estimation of a number of thermodynamic properties. The entropy generation (also called entropy production) resulting from this process can also be used to determine the feasibility and reversibility of a process. In this work, we present an extended discussion involving quantitative analysis of the effects of friction between a piston and the interior wall of a cylinder. Our findings indicate that the friction force caused by the movement of the piston is a main source of entropy generation in this process. This explanation does not appear in most textbooks dealing with similar problems. We also discuss, from a quantitative perspective, the effects of friction on the dynamic physical and thermodynamic properties, including entropy generation. Our findings suggest that engaging students in a discussion related to piston-and-cylinder problems involving the effects of friction could provide valuable insight into entropy generation in practical applications.
Division of Chemical Education, Inc and ACS Publications Division of the American Chemical Society. 1155 Sixteenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 800-227-5558; Tel: 202-872-4600; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A