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Question 13: Is it possible, according to the Second Law of Thermodynamics, to construct a heat engine that is free from thermal pollution?

ANSWER

Any heat engine works on the principle of absorbing some heat from the high temperature reservoir (source), converts part of it to mechanical work and rejects the remaining part to the low temperature reservoir (sink). The sink is usually the atmosphere. This causes an increase in the temperature of the surrounding, which makes the surrounding thermally polluted.

According to Kelvin’s statement of the Second Law of Thermodynamics, it is impossible to construct a heat engine without having a sink. So a heat engine that is free from thermal pollution is impossible to be constructed.

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