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Emergy and emergy algebra explained by means of ingenuous set theory

Simone Bastianoni, Fabiana Morandi, Tommaso Flaminio, Riccardo M. Pulselli and Elisa B.P. Tiezzi

Ecological Modelling, 2011, vol. 222, issue 16, 2903-2907

Abstract: Emergy is an important concept that has originated several effects in ecology, systems ecology and sustainability science. Its communication, however, has always presented several problems, since it does not follow the same rules of conservation as other energy-based approaches. Attempts have been made to clarify emergy by means of more formal/mathematical approaches, but the problem persists. In this paper, we have introduced a view of emergy and of its algebra based on ingenuous set theory. By means of this simple tool, emergy can be defined as the set of solar exergy that is directly and indirectly necessary to make a product. The operation that correctly sums the emergy “carried” by the inputs to a process is the union. This definition and the operation of union are able to account for all the rules of emergy algebra.

Keywords: Ingenuous set theory; Emergy; Emergy Algebra; Split; Co-product; Feedback (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecomod:v:222:y:2011:i:16:p:2903-2907