Evaluation of the Atmospheric Chemical Entropy Production of Mars

Alfonso Delgado-Bonal, F. Martín-Torres

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Thermodynamic disequilibrium is a necessary situation in a system in which complex emergent structures are created and maintained. It is known that most of the chemical disequilibrium, a particular type of thermodynamic disequilibrium, in Earth’s atmosphere is a consequence of life. We have developed a thermochemical model for the Martian atmosphere to analyze the disequilibrium by chemical reactions calculating the entropy production. It follows from the comparison with the Earth atmosphere that the magnitude of the entropy produced by the recombination reaction forming O3 (O + O2 + CO2 ⥦ O3 + CO2) in the atmosphere of the Earth is larger than the entropy produced by the dominant set of chemical reactions considered for Mars, as a consequence of the low density and the poor variety of species of the Martian atmosphere. If disequilibrium is needed to create and maintain self-organizing structures in a system, we conclude that the current Martian atmosphere is unable to support large physico-chemical structures, such as those created on Earth
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5047-5062
Number of pages16
Issue number7
Early online date20 Jul 2015
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

The first author wants to acknowledge the Luleå University of Technology in Kiruna, Sweden, for the scholarship that partially funded this investigation. The authors want to express their gratitude to Julianne Moses for important inputs and discussion, to Frank Lefèvre for the photochemical model on which our model is based and to the anonymous referees that reviewed our manuscript for pointing out
mistakes and helping to improve the quality of the paper


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