The fuel of ecosystems is organic matter, detritus. It is therefore relevant to calculate the free energy of dead organic matter. The chemical potential of dead organic matter, indexed i = 1, can be expressed in classic thermodynamics (e.g. Russel and Adebiyi, 1993) as
The difference ¡x1 ~ Mi is known for detrital organic matter, which is a mixture of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. The enthalpy values in Table 2.2 could be applied. Approximately 18.7 kJ/g are applied for the free energy content of average detritus. Obviously, the value is higher for detritus originated from birds, as they on average have higher fat contents (see Table 2.2c). Coal has a free energy content of about 30 kJ/g and mineral oil of 42 kJ/g. Both coal and mineral oil are a concentrated form of detritus from previous periods of the Earth. ci is the concentration of the detritus in the considered ecosystem and c01 is the concentration of detritus in the same ecosystem but at a thermodynamic equilibrium.
Generally speaking, if we use the probabilistic interpretation of chemical kinetics, then the probability of finding the ith component at a thermodynamic equilibrium is equal to n
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Do we really want the one thing that gives us its resources unconditionally to suffer even more than it is suffering now? Nature, is a part of our being from the earliest human days. We respect Nature and it gives us its bounty, but in the recent past greedy money hungry corporations have made us all so destructive, so wasteful.