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See detailKinetics and thermodynamics of reversible polymerization in closed systems
Lahiri, S.; Wang, Y.; Esposito, Massimiliano UL et al

in New Journal of Physics (2015), 17(8),

Motivated by a recent study on the metabolism of carbohydrates in bacteria, we study the kinetics and thermodynamics of two classic models for reversible polymerization, one preserving the total polymer ... [more ▼]

Motivated by a recent study on the metabolism of carbohydrates in bacteria, we study the kinetics and thermodynamics of two classic models for reversible polymerization, one preserving the total polymer concentration and the other one not. The chemical kinetics is described by rate equations following the mass-action law. We consider a closed system and nonequilibrium initial conditions and show that the system dynamically evolves towards equilibrium where a detailed balance is satisfied. The entropy production during this process can be expressed as the time derivative of a Lyapunov function. When the solvent is not included in the description and the dynamics conserves the total concentration of polymer, the Lyapunov function can be expressed as a Kullback-Leibler divergence between the nonequilibrium and the equilibrium polymer length distribution. The same result holds true when the solvent is explicitly included in the description and the solution is assumed dilute, whether or not the total polymer concentration is conserved. Furthermore, in this case a consistent nonequilibrium thermodynamic formulation can be established and the out-of-equilibrium thermodynamic enthalpy, entropy and free energy can be identified. Such a framework is useful in complementing standard kinetics studies with the dynamical evolution of thermodynamic quantities during polymerization. © 2015 IOP Publishing Ltd and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft. [less ▲]

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