Well, Gibbs free energy is a quantity that depends upon the choice of energy storage medium, not the quantity of energy in the medium when at equilibrium. So at equilibrium the Gibbs free energy will be zero. There is also the simple observation that there are an infinite number of energy storage mediums!
So why is it important to know the Gibbs free energy at equilibrium?
At equilibrium there is only one energy storage medium available: thermal energy. So by equalling one’s energy storage potentials you are limiting the amount of energy that can be stored. This limit would have to be very narrow so that even with a huge energy savings you will not be able to store the extra energy that is in the future.
So for energy conservation purposes using a thermally stable storage medium like lithium would seem to be rather useless in practice.
If Gibbs free energy is zero at equilibrium where do you say the law of conservation of energy comes into play?
At equilibrium all energy is conserved and can be expressed as a function of temperature. As the temperature goes up it is more energy that is conserved. The difference between kinetic and potential energy comes down to thermal difference. Here thermal energy, like the energy stored in the kinetic energy storage medium, varies with temperature.
What happens as temperature rises? We simply forget this as we are only concerned about the conservation of energy at equilibrium in fact in the range of temperature where we should care. If we keep trying to conserve energy our system becomes more complicated and expensive to build because of the effects of heat transport and the associated energy consumption of the energy storage system when the temperature goes up. All other things being the same it may well be better to take our savings and use it to buy more time.
If thermally stable storage mediums like lithium are only viable at temperatures up to about 1 million degrees Fahrenheit then why do we have so many thermally stable materials in the world today?
The answer to that is the way we have adapted the material for use at those temperatures. We have had years of research designed to use lithium at these temperatures and have also seen the benefits of thermally stable materials. The materials we are using today are not thermally stable though.
So why use lithium at temperatures over 1 million degrees Fahrenheit?
Since we have such an abundance of lithium and use thermally stable materials all of our materials should be good at these temperatures. The reason is that they have a long shelf life. When we can safely
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