General Thermodynamics: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

General Thermodynamics

1st Edition

By Donald Olander

CRC Press

408 pages | 185 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780849374388
pub: 2007-11-26

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  Because classical thermodynamics evolved into many branches of science and engineering, most undergraduate courses on the subject are taught from the perspective of each area of specialization. General Thermodynamics combines elements from mechanical and chemical engineering, chemistry (including electrochemistry), materials science, and biology to present a unique and thorough treatment of thermodynamics that is broader in scope than other fundamental texts.

This book contains classroom-tested materials designed to meet the academic requirements for students from a variety of scientific and engineering backgrounds in a single course. The first half focuses on classical concepts of thermodynamics, whereas the latter half explores field-specific applications, including a unique chapter on biothermodynamics.

The book’s methodology is unified, concise, and multidisciplinary, allowing students to understand how the principles of thermodynamics apply to all technical fields that touch upon this most fundamental of scientific theories. It also offers a rigorous approach to the quantitative aspects of thermodynamics, accompanied by clear explanations to help students transition smoothly from the physical concepts to their mathematical representations.

Each chapter contains numerous worked examples taken from different engineering applications, illustrations, and an extensive set of exercises to support the material. A complete solutions manual is available to professors with qualifying course adoptions.


"In less than 400 pages, Orlander (Univ. of California, Berkeley) provides a concise overview of a wide range of topics in the thermodynamics area. It is well written and several example calculations are provided in each chapter . . . The provided examples are extremely useful to demonstrate the current connection of thermodynamics to modern processes and applications . . . Summing up: Recommended."

– H. Giesche, Alfred University, in Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries, May 2008, Vol. 45, No. 9

Table of Contents

Concepts and Definitions

A Brief History of Thermodynamics

Thermodynamic Nomenclature

Heat and Work

Characteristics of System Boundaries

Thermodynamic Processes

Thermodynamic Properties

Reversible and Irreversible Processes

Example: Compression of an Ideal Gas Using Sliding Weights

The First Law of Thermodynamics

The Second Law of Thermodynamics

The Fundamental Differentials


Components, Phases, and the Gibbs Phase Rule

Equations of State

What Is an Equation of state?

The Ideal Gas Law

Nonideal (Real) Gases

Thermal Equations of State: The Specific Heat of Gases

Thermodynamic Properties of Solids and Liquids

Graphical Representations of the Equation of State of Water

The Steam Tables

Application of the First and Second Laws to Processes in Closed Systems


The Isochoric Process

The Isothermal Process

The Isobaric Process

The Isentropic Process

More Complicated Processes

Effect of Phase Changes on the Thermal Properties of Condensed Phases

Heat Engines, Power Cycles and the Thermodynamics of Open Systems

Heat Engines

The Second Law Applied to Heat Engine Cycles

The Carnot Cycle

Thermodynamics of Open Systems

Practical Power Cycles

Flow Devices without Shaft Work

Summary: Properties of Flow Devices

Phase Equilibria in One-Component Systems


Equilibrium between Two Phases

The Clapyron Equation

Vaporization (or Sublimation)

Psychrometry (Gas-Vapor Mixtures)

One-Component Phase Diagrams

The Effect of Pressure on Thermodynamic Properties

The Mathematics of Thermodynamics

Mathematical Prelude

Maxwell Relations and other Useful Formulas

Thermodynamic Relations for Nonideal Behavior

Nonideal Gases with Special Process Restraints

Gas Mixtures and Nonaqueous Solutions

Mixtures and Solutions Defined; Measures of Composition

Ideal Gas Mixtures

Nonideal Liquid and Solid Solutions

The Chemical Potential

Activity and Activity Coefficient

Excess Gibbs Free Energy and the Entropy of Mixing

Regular Solutions

Chemical Potentials in Gas Mixtures

Binary Phase Equilibria: Phase Diagrams


Interphase Equilibrium

Distribution of Components between Phases

Binary Phase Diagrams: Analytical Construction

Binary Phase Diagrams: the Graphical Method

A Eutectic Phase Diagram

Real phase diagrams: Fe-U; Fe-O, NaCl-H2O

The Lever Rule

Chemical Thermodynamics

Chemical Reactions

Enthalpy Change of a Reaction

Entropy Change of Reaction: The Entropy Rule-of-Thumb

Criterion of Chemical Equilibrium

Gas-Phase Reaction Equilibria

Solving for the Equilibrium Composition

Reactions in a Flowing Gas

Simultaneous Gas Phase Reactions

Reactions between Gases and Pure Condensed Phases

Reactions Involving Solutions

Thermochemical Databases

Dissolution of Gases in Metals

Computational Thermodynamics


Electrochemistry Explained

The Solid-State Electrochemical Cell

The Cell EMF and the Free Energy of the Overall Cell Reaction

Nonstandard Solid-State Electrochemical Cells

Aqueous Electrochemistry

Nonequilibrium Aqueous Electrochemical Cells

Equilibrium Constants Of Aqueous Ionic Reactions

Chemical Equilibria in Environmental Waters




Amino Acids


Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP)

Protein Structures

Ligand Binding to Macromolecules

Osmotic Pressure

Separation of Proteins by Liquid-Liquid Extraction


Appendix: Thermodynamic Properties of Water (Steam Tables)

Two-Phase, by Temperature

Two-Phase, by Pressure

Superheated Water Vapor

Compressed Liquid Water

Two-Phase, Ice-Vapor

*All Chapters contain Problems and References sections

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Energy
SCIENCE / Mechanics / Dynamics / Thermodynamics