Welcome to SimCem!

Simcem is a computational thermodynamics package and database with aspirations of process simulation. It currently allows the calculation of thermodynamic properties from thermodynamic models (i.e., equations of state), and can calculate the equilibrium state of model thermodynamic systems. It mainly focuses on combustion and cement chemistry, but it is planned to evolve into a general chemical engineering toolkit.

Everything is available via the main menu (click the icon in the top left to open it). The console at the top provides information on the progress of calculations (and any errors).

Current status11th July 2016

This site is an ongoing work and is evolving rapidly. You can explore the open dataset but this is limited to the NASA data until we have published.

If you are a collaborator, you can access our full data set by logging in.

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Theory

These are notes on the thermodynamic implementation written while (re)developing my own understanding of thermodynamics. They are not complete and are too brief to be precise, but they are provided to help others understand SimCem and implement their own Gibb's free energy minimisation as I struggled to find all aspects of the technique explained in one convenient place.

First, the concept of a thermodynamic system is introduced. Then, the fundamental differential equation of thermodynamics is derived from the conservation of energy. Then, the second law is used to justify the definition of several "thermodynamic potentials" which are minimised at equilibrium. State variables are then discussed to justify the "best" basis for thermodynamic calculations, and to demonstrate that additional constraints are required during minimisation. The general approach to constrained minimisation using Lagrangian multipliers is then outlined to understand what thermodynamic derivatives are required for the minimisation algorithm. As there are a large number of derivatives required, the next section discusses many simplifying relationships which can collapse the required derivatives to a minimal set. Finally, the implementation of a number of thermodynamic models is outlined, first for volume-explicit models, then for pressure-explicit models.

This work wasn't possible without some of the excellent work already out in the literature. In particular, nothing was more useful to me than the excellent NASA CEA program, its database, and its highly educational report.

Thermodynamic systems

A balloon.
A closed balloon system (A) and an open system (B), both exhibiting the observables of pressure, $p$, volume, $V$, and temperature, $T$.

A thermodynamic system is the partitioning of some quantity of energy from its surroundings through an enclosing boundary. The surroundings are also a thermodynamic system; however, the partitioning divides what we are interested in (the system) from the uninteresting (the surroundings).

The energy inside the system may take many different forms which exhibit a number of observable properties, such as volume, mass, surface area, and pressure. These properties are observable as they are visible externally through the boundaries of the system. Interestingly, the total internal energy of the system itself is not directly observable but its existence and changes are inferred indirectly through observation of the observable properties at the boundary of the system. It should come as no surprise then that there are other internal properties, such as the entropy, which can only be discerned indirectly.

The boundary of the system may be physical (e.g., the walls of a vessel such as a balloon) or may be defined by some arbitrary division of space (e.g., a finite volume in a CFD simulation). If the boundary is physical, then it may or may not be included as part of the system. For example, water in air has a surface tension which acts like the skin of a balloon and pulls it into a spherical shape. This surface has an associated energy and it is at our discretion whether to include it within the system or as part of the surroundings (or neglect it entirely as an approximation).

Both the physical and unphysical boundaries may be fixed or change shape over time. In addition, if mass can pass through the boundaries then the system is deemed open (and closed if it cannot).

If an observable property of a system changes, the observer might infer that the state of the system has changed. A somewhat circular definition of state variables then arises as "the observable variables of a system which are linked to its state". In practice, almost everything that can be measured at a single instant in time is a state variable. Notable exceptions are fluxes such as heat and work as discussed in the next section. Interestingly, the system might have many internal (micro) states but if they cannot be distinguished via its observable properties then they may be treated as a single observable (macro) state. Even "small" thermodynamic systems consist of enormous numbers of atoms, thus the number of variables required to uniquely specify the microscopic state is immense. It is somewhat amazing that thermodynamics is able to make so much progress using only what little variables are visible through the boundaries of systems.

Now that the initial terminology has been outlined, a governing equation for the changes in the energy of a thermodynamic system is derived.

The fundamental equation

The power of thermodynamics arises from its ability to find simple universal relationships between observable state variables. These relationships are a direct consequence of the laws of thermodynamics.

The first law of thermodynamics is an observation that energy is neither created or destroyed but only transformed between different forms. The sum of all forms of energy contained within a thermodynamic system, ${sys.}$, is deemed the internal energy, $U_{sys.}$. The first law can then be stated differentially, where ${\rm d} U_{sys.}$ is an infinitesimal change in the energy of the system which results in an infintesimal change in the energy of the surroundings ${\rm d} U_{surr.}$. Equation \eqref{eq:firstlaw} is a differential statement that energy is conserved: if the system energy changes then an opposite change must occur in the surroundings.

From further observation, two types of energy transfer are identified: heat transfer and work, where $\partial Q_{\to {sys.}}$, is energy transferred to the system as heat (pure energy) hence the subscript $\scriptsize\to {sys.}$, and $\partial W_{sys.}$ represents all forms of work carried out by the system. The negative sign on the work term is a conventional choice. The distinction between heat and work is discussed later when reversibility is introduced; however, another important distinction has been made in the use of $\partial$ for the work/heat-transfer terms, $\partial W$ and $\partial Q$, and ${\rm d}$ for the internal-energy term, ${\rm d}U$.

4StrokeEngine Ortho 3D Small
Engines cycle back to their initial starting state, and thus are designed to perform arbitrary amounts of work without changing their state. Of course, this ignores wear and tear of the engine.

This notation indicates that $U_{sys.}$ is only indirectly linked to $Q_{\to {sys.}}$ and $W_{sys.}$ as a thermodynamic system may transfer arbitrarily large amounts of heat, and perform arbitrarily large amounts of work, but only the remainder $(\partial Q_{\to {sys.}}-\partial W_{sys.})$ will actually cause a change in the energy (and thus the state) of the system. Thus, heat and work are not state variables as they may change independently of the system state!

Physical examples of this include engines, which can perform arbitrary amounts of work provided sufficient heat/energy is supplied but always return to their initial state. Mathematically, this implies that the variable $U_{sys.}$ is an inexact differential in the variables of $Q_{\to {sys.}}$ and $W_{sys.}$ and there is no unique relationship between them (we cannot integrate this equation). Interestingly, inexact differentials can often be transformed into simpler exact differentials through the use of constraints. For example, if the engine is seized and no work can be carried out, then $U_{sys.}$ and $Q_{\to {sys.}}$ must be directly proportional and thus ${\rm d}U_{sys.}={\rm d}Q_{\to {sys.}}$. This constraint is far too restrictive for our applications and another constraint, known as reversibility, must be invoked.

In the next two subsections, the concept of reversibility is introduced through consideration of cycles and is used to find exact differential descriptions of work and heat.

Cycles, reversibility, and heat

A thermodynamic cycle is a process applied to a thermodynamic system which causes the observable properties (state variables) to change but eventually return to their initial values. For example, the combustion chamber inside an engine will compress and expand during its operation but it returns to its starting volume after each cycle. This leads to the following identity, $\oint_{\rm cycle} {\rm d} V=0$, and similar identites must also apply for every state variable.

In 1855 Clausius observed that the integral of the heat transfer rate over the temperature is always negative when measured over a cycle, This is known as the Clausius inequality and it approaches zero in the limit that the cycle is performed slowly. This limiting result indicates that the kernel of the integral actually contains a state variable, i.e., where $S_{sys.}$ is the state variable known as entropy of the system. Interestingly, the entropy (like the internal energy) is also not directly observable and its existence is only revealed by this inequality.

The inequality states that entropy must be removed from a system to allow it to return to its initial state, except in the limit of slow changes. This implies that entropy may naturally increase within the system but that it is not naturally destroyed within the system. This has led to the terminology of the irreversible cycle, $\oint_{\rm cycle}{\rm d}S>0$, and the idealised reversible cycle, $\oint_{\rm cycle}{\rm d}S=0$, which can be returned to its starting state without removing entropy.

Further careful reasoning which is omitted here results in the statement of the second law of thermodynamics: the total entropy of a isolated system can only increase over time. Assuming the universe is an isolated system our thermodynamic system and its surroundings must always together have a positive (or zero) entropy change.

One last note, thermodynamic processes which are not cycles may also be reversible or irreversible. For a general process to be reversible the total entropy of the system and its surroundings together must remain zero. This allows the entropy to increase or decrease in the system, but only if the surroundings have a compensating change. Irreversibility is further explored later but for now our understanding is sufficient to introduce the various forms of work.

Work

A balloon.
Both popping a balloon (left) and releasing it untied (right) results in the same final state; however, releasing the air slowly through the neck allows work to be extracted causing the balloon to fly around.

The work term $\partial W_{sys.}$represents all methods of transferring of energy other than heat. Unlike entropy changes which are minimised to zero, a reversible path maximises the amount of work performed. It is this feature in particular which distinguishes heat transfer from mechanical work.

As an illustrative example, consider the relaxation of a balloon through popping it versus letting it go with the neck untied. In the first case, no work is done as the air is immediately released into the surroundings. In the latter case, the air jet leaving the balloon will propel it around the room. It is clear that the latter case releases the air more slowly and extracts work from the pressure/tension in the balloon.

All work can be expressed as a generalised driving force, $\vec{F}_{sys.}$, which is displaced by a change in the corresponding generalised distance, $\vec{L}_{sys.}$. The reversible limit corresponds to infinitesimally slow/small changes of the distance (i.e., ${\rm d}\vec{L}$) resulting in the following general expression for the work.

For the balloon, there are three forms of work taking place. First, as the volume of the balloon is decreased work must be performed to compress the volume against the pressure of the air within. The reversible pressure-volume work is then as follows, where the pressure $p$ is the generalised force and the volume $V$ is the generalised displacement. In addition, the balloon itself is shrinking, releasing the tension within its elastic surface. This is known as surface work, where $\gamma_{sys.}$ is the surface tension and $\Sigma_{sys.}$ is the surface area.

As air leaves the balloon through the neck it will carry away energy with it. This is known as chemical work, where the chemical potential, $\mu_{i,{sys.}}$, is the energy added to the system if one mole of the component $i$ (from one of the $N_C$ components of the system) is added to or removed from the system by any process (e.g., flow through the boundaries or internal reactions).

The definition of a component, $i$, in a thermodynamic system is flexible and may be used to represent a single type of atom, molecule, or elementary particle (i.e., electrons), or even a mixture of molecules (such as "air"). Although ${\rm d} N_{i,{sys.}}$ represents changes in the amounts of a species $i$, for a closed system (a system which cannot exchange mass with any other system), chemical work is impossible and thus the conservation of energy requires that the following holds true (even if ${\rm d} N_{i,{sys.}}\neq 0$ due to internal processes such as reactions), Closed systems are typical during process/unit-operation calculations; however, as these closed systems are often composed of multiple open sub-systems (i.e. multiple interacting phases within a closed vessel) the chemical work term is always required.

Summary of the equation

In summary, under the constraint of a reversible system, the expression for entropy (Eq. \eqref{eq:entropydefinition}) and any relevant work terms (Eq. \eqref{eq:pressurevolumework}-\eqref{eq:materialwork}) can be substituted into the energy balance of Eq. \eqref{eq:initialebalance}, to yield the fundamental thermodynamic equation, where the subscript ${sys.}$ has been dropped from every term for convenience. Other work terms, such as the surface work, can be added to this equation depending on the system studied; however, the pressure-volume and chemical work terms are the most important from a process engineering perspective.

Solution of the equation

It is interesting to note that each term of the fundamental thermodynamic equation consists of a so-called conjugate pairing of an intensive property such as $T$, $p$, or $\mu_i$ and a corresponding conjugate extensive property $S$, $V$, or $\left\{N_i\right\}$ respectively. Provided all the relevant work terms have been included, it has been observed that a thermodynamic state is fully specified if at most one independent variable is specified from each of the conjugate pairs. Fewer variables may be required under certain conditions such as multi-phase equilibrium (see the phase rule); however, computationally it is convenient to use the full set and allow the free-energy minimisation discussed later to introduce the required constraints between the independent variables (to satisfy the phase rule). We are free to choose our set of independent variables although there are some natural choices.

The so-called natural variables of a thermodynamic state variable are those which appear as the differential changes in its differential equation. For now only the internal energy has been introduced and Eq. \eqref{eq:fundamentalThermoRelation} leads us to define the following natural variable set, $U(S,V,N_1,\ldots,N_C)$. Performing a total derivative in these natural variables using the implicit function theorem yields the following expression, where, for clarity, the variables which are held constant while a partial derivative is taken are written as subscripts on the parenthesis surrounding the derivative (this is because thermodynamics has a habit of changing the set of independent and dependent variables).

The usefulness of this particular set of independent variables is obvious when comparing the total derivative to the fundamental thermodynamic relation of Eq.\eqref{eq:fundamentalThermoRelation} as it yields the following convenient definitions of the partial derivatives, This is the first indication that thermodynamics is a powerful tool as it has already found differential relationships between the observables. As the variables $S$, $V$, and $\left\{N_i\right\}$, are all extensive, Euler's solution for homogeneous functions applies (see below).

This allows the equation to be "solved" immediately as it is a first-order homogeneous function of the extensive properties. This is the solution for the internal energy which is the first thermodynamic potential. Several other thermodynamic potentials are more convenient depending on the state variables used and these arise due to the consequences of the second law of thermodynamics.

Free-energies and thermodynamic potentials

The second law of thermodynamics has already been introduced and can be formally written as, i.e., the total entropy of the universe (our system and its surroundings) must always increase or remain constant. This statement implies that the only "stationary" thermodynamic state is where the entropy has reached its maximum, henceforth known as the equilibrium state. The equilibrium state is of particular interest as all thermodynamic systems approach it and, if left undisturbed, remain there indefinitely.

It is often the basis of process calculations that a particular thermodynamic system has reached near equilibrium, thus determining the equilibrium state (via a maximisation of the total entropy) is our primary goal. Starting from some initial non-equilibrium state, some unconstrained internal parameters (e.g., composition, reaction progression) are varied such that the total entropy is maximised.

Although the universe's entropy must be maximised at equilibrium, the common frame of reference is a smaller thermodynamic "system" contained within it. The total entropy is the sum of the entropy of this system within the universe and the rest of the universe, now deemed the "surroundings", It is clear that both $S_{sys.}$ and $S_{surr.}$ may increase or decrease, provided the overall change results in an increase of $S_{total}$.

It is henceforth assumed that the surroundings are at equilibrium, they remain at equilibrium, and any interaction with the surroundings is reversible. The author considers these the largest assumptions they have ever made, both physically and in terms of approximation; however, it is equivalent to a "worst case" estimate for the generation of entropy. In this case, there can be no "external" process driving changes within the thermodynamic system. I.e., the rest of the universe cannot supply extra entropy spontaneously to allow normally unfeasible processes within the system to occur. In this case, the only possible mechanism by which the universe's entropy may change is via heat transfer from the system. This makes it clear that the entropy change of the system must be balanced against the entropy it is generating in the surroundings through heat transfer (the surroundings are also so large the other effects of the heat transfer are negligble). Inserting the fundamental thermodynamic equation (Eq.\eqref{eq:fundamentalThermoRelation}), To simplify further analysis, the thermodynamic system is now assumed to be closed which allows the elimination of the chemical potential term, Where the subscript $C$ on the parenthesis indicates that the system is closed. This equation makes it clear that, in closed systems interacting reversibly with its surroundings which are at local equilibrium, the overall equilibrium is not solely linked to the entropy of the system itself but is the minimisation of the RHS of Eq.\eqref{eq:totalentropy}. The RHS often corresponds to some thermodynamic potential which arise under different constraints and these are now derived in the sections below.

Summary

In summary, there are a number of relevant thermodynamic potentials for a closed system. These are defined below,

For each set of constrained thermodynamic states in closed systems, a particular thermodynamic potential is minimised at equilibrium. These are summarised in the table below:

ConstantsFunction to minimise, $f$
$p,\,S$$H$
$p,\,T$$G$
$p,\,H$$-S$
$V,\,S$$U$
$V,\,T$$A$
$V,\,U$$-S$

The variables held constant are the "natural" variables of each potential. Expressing the change in each thermodynamic potential in terms of these natural variables yields, The significance of the chemical potential cannot be overstated. It is the change of each thermodynamic potential per mole of each species exchanged but only provided the natural variables of the potential are held constant, The implication of this is that when dealing with systems exchanging mass, but constrained by two "natural" variables, the chemical potential for each species must be equal in all phases, regardless of which constrained variables are actually used (otherwise a change of mass between systems could change the value of the overall thermodynamic potential implying it is not at a minimum). It is also the partial molar Gibbs free energy ($G=\sum_i N_i\,\mu_i$) as discussed later and thus calculation of the Gibbs free energy can be reduced to considering the chemical potential.

The independent state variables

To perform calculations, a set of state variables must be defined as the independent state variables, $\vec{X}$, from which all other dependent state variables are calculated. Thermodynamic calculations begin with a collection of several thermodynamic sub-systems which are initially out of equilibrium with each other. For convenience, these sub-systems will be called phases from now as this usage is typical; however, other sub-system types may be used. The state of the collection of non-equilibrium phases is then most conveniently specified on a phase by phase basis, i.e., where $\vec{X}_\alpha$ are the independent state variables of a single phase $\alpha$ selected from the $N_P$ phases. As the state variables for a phase are one selected from each conjugate pair there are currently eight possible combinations.

Thermal Mechanical Chemical
IntensiveExtensive IntensiveExtensive IntensiveExtensive
$T$ $S$ $p$ $V$ $\mu_i$ $N_i$

Temperature and the molar amounts are highly convenient variables for process engineering, thus entropy and the chemical potentials are rarely used as the independent state variables. Both the pressure and volume can be convenient or inconvenient variables depending on the parameterisation of the thermodynamic model used. Thus, many models are built using one or the other as a natural variable and Simcem allows the use of either as a state variable,

Constraints

Gibbs phase rule states that the number of independent intensive variables (AKA degrees of freedom), $F$, required to completely specify the equilibrium state of a thermodynamic system is, where $N_P$ is the number of phases and $C$ is the number of independent components in the system. It should be noted that in general $C\neq N_C$, as components may be linked by the constraints of elemental or molecular balances. For example, in a system of pure boiling water ($N_P=2$), the total number of components is $N_C=2$ as we have $N_{H_2O,liquid}$ and $N_{H_2O,gas}$ (thanks to the phase-by-phase description); however, in this system the total amount of $H_2O$ is limited, This additional equation reduces the number of independent components by one, i.e., $C=N_C-1=1$, thus $F=1$ in this system as expected. Similar constraints appear in reactive systems which is discussed later during the outline of the minimisation proceedure.

As Simcem always uses $N_P\left(N_C+2\right)$ variables to describe a system and, in general, $N_p(N_C+2)\ge C+2-N_P$, the state of a multi-phase and/or reactive system is typically overspecified and constraints must be added to the minimisation to eliminate the additional degrees of freedom. Other constraints will also appear (i.e., temperature and pressure is equal in all phases) as a result of the free-energy minimization.

Minimisation

As outlined in the previous sections, to determine the equilibrium state of a closed system a thermodynamic potential, $f$, is minimised subject to some constraints. This can be expressed mathmatically in the following way, where $\vec{X}_{equil}$ are the state variables at equilibrium and $k$ is the index of an equality constraint which holds some function of the state variables, $g_k\left(\vec{X}\right)$, to a value of zero. The non-negativity constraints on the molar amounts and phase temperature/pressure/volume are required to prevent the numerical minimistation technique from drifting into unphysical values of the parameters. The constraints may be divided into two categories: (1) constraints on the molar amounts and (2) constraints on other thermodynamic variables.

Constraints on $T$, $p$, and/or $V$

Two systems in equilibrium must have equal temperature, pressure, and chemical potential. This should arise naturally from the maximisation of entropy; however, it is efficient to remove any variables of the minimisation wherever we can. This also appears to aid with stability of the minimisation problem.

The simplest constraint required is that the temperatures of all phases are equal at equilibrium. As all phases have temperature variables, $\left\{T_\alpha\right\}^{N_{p}}$, these are eliminated from $\vec{X}$ and set equal to a single system temperature, $T$, which is inserted into $\vec{X}$. If the equilibrium is being determined at constant temperature, then the system temperature, $T$, is simply set to the constrained value, copied to all phases, and eliminated from $\vec{X}$ entirely.

Phases in equilibrium must also have equal pressures (Laplace pressures from surface tension and other effects are not yet available). To implement this requirement, all phase pressure variables, $\left\{p_\alpha\right\}^{N_p}$, are eliminated from $\vec{X}$ and set to a single system pressure, $p$. As not all phases have pressure as the independent variable but use volume instead constraint functions are introduced to enforce this requirement, If the equilibrium is being evaluated at constant pressure, then the system pressure variable may also be eliminated from $\vec{X}$; however, the constraint functions $g_{p,\alpha}$ must remain.

Finally, if the volume is held constant then a single constraint function is added, The volumes of each phase remain in $\vec{X}$ as it is the overall volume of the system which is constrained to $V_{target}$, thus individual phases have unconstrained volumes.

Constraints on elements/species

Other constraints naturally arise from the conservation of elements and species. For example, consider the water/steam equilibrium system, H2O may be present in both the steam and water phase, but the total amount is constrained to the initial amount, $N_{H_2O}^0$, like so, In reactive systems, the types of molecules are no-longer conserved but the elements are. For example, consider the combustion of graphite, The state variables are, In this reactive system, elemental constraints are used, Elemental constraints allow any and all possible reactions/rearrangements of elements to minimise the free energy. For example, the following reaction is also allowed by these constraints, Sometimes this is not desired, and only specific reaction paths are fast enough to be considered (e.g. in catalysed reactions). In this case, custom constraints will need to be implemented. At the moment, Simcem will only automatically generate elemental and molecular constraints.

It should be noted that both elemental and species constraints are linear functions of the molar amounts, $N_i$, and can both be expressed in general as follows: where $\pi_{ik}$ is the amount of $k$ (element or molecule) within a molar amount of $N_i$, and the index $i$ runs over all species in all phases. With the constraints outlined, the general method of solution is explained.

Lagrange multipliers

Constrained minimisation problems are often transformed into unconstrained searches for stationary points using the method of Lagrange multipliers. A new function called the Lagrangian, $F$, is constructed like so, where $\lambda_k$ is the Lagrange multiplier for the $k$ constraint. The purpose of this operation is to construct a function where the constrained minima's of $f$ now occur at the (unconstrained) extrema of $F$. For example, it is easy to see that the derivatives of $F$ with respect to each Lagrange multiplier are zero if the constraints are satisfied, Thus we are searching for a point where $\partial F/\partial \lambda_k=0$ to ensure the constraints are satisfied. Taking a derivative of the Lagrangian with respect to the state variables, $\vec{X}$, yields the following, or in vector notation, Lets consider when $\partial F/\partial \vec{X}=\nabla_\vec{X}\,F=0$, at this point the following must be true, This makes it clear that at the point where $\partial F/\partial \vec{X}=0$, the downhill direction of $f$ can be decomposed into directions where the constraint functions also change ($\nabla_\vec{X}\,c_k$ are basis vectors of $\nabla_\vec{X}\,f$, and $-\lambda_k$ are the coordinate values in this basis). Thus, attempting to lower $f$ any further will cause the constraint values to alter away from zero if they are already satisfied at this point (as guaranteed by $\frac{\partial F}{\partial \lambda_k}=0$). This point is then a local minima which satisfies the constraints.

The strategy is now to find a stationary point of the Lagrangian, This is a stationary point and not a maximum or minimum as no statements on the second derivatives of the Lagrangian have been made. In fact, most stationary points of the Lagrangian turn out to be saddle points therefore direct minimisation of the Lagrangian is not suitable, instead a root search for the first derivative of the Lagrangian may be attempted. Even this approach may converge to a stationary point of $F$ which is not a minimum but a maximisation of $f$. Implementation of a suitable routine is an art but fortunately general algorithms are available which perform this analysis, such as NLopt, Opt++, and SLSQP. These require knowledge of the derivatives of the objective function and the constraints.

Required properties for minimisation

To determine the extreema of the Lagrangian, the minimisation algorithms require the derivatives of the Lagrangian. As illustrated above, the derivatives with respect to the lagrangian multipliers are given by the constraint functions themselves, thus no additional calculation is required there. Ignoring any contribution from the interfaces between phases, the thermodynamic potentials of the overall system can be broken down into the contribution from each phase, where $f_\alpha$ is the contribution arising from a single phase, $\alpha$. This allows us to rewrite the derivative of the Lagrangian with respect to the state variables as follows, It should be noted that the following is true, Thus, each individual phase's derivatives can be considered separately as only the $\partial f_\alpha/\partial \vec{X}_\alpha$ terms are nonzero. For the constraint functions, the only non-zero derivative of the element/molecular constraint function given in Eq.\eqref{eq:genMolConstraint} is as follows,

Many of these derivatives required depend on the state variable set used to describe the phase. The following sections discuss how these properties are calcluated for the two types of state variable set.

Simplifying relationships

A large number of thermodynamic derivatives are required to implement the minimisation. This section presents a number of useful expressions and approaches which allow us to interrelate various derivatives to reduce the number which must be implemented to a minimal amount.

First, it is demonstrated that the derivatives of a potential in its natural variable is linked to all other thermodynamic potentials, thus it is a generating function. Generalised partial properties are then introduced to demonstrate that all extensive properties can be expressed in terms of their derivatives in their extensive variables. The Bridgman tables provide a convenient method of expressing any derivative of the thermodynamic potentials or their variables in terms of just three "material derivatives". A "generalised" product rule is then introduced to demonstrate how derivatives may be interchanged, particularly for the triple product rule. Finally, a key relationship between the partial molar and partial "volar" properties is derived.

Generating functions

The thermodynamic potentials, when expressed as a function of their natural variables, provide a complete description of the state of a thermodynamic system. Thus, all thermodynamic properties must be obtainable from operations (in particular the derivatives) on these potentials. For example, consider the Gibbs free energy expressed in terms of the state variables $\left\{T,p,\left\{N_i\right\}\right\}$. Eq.\eqref{eq:dG} gives the first derivatives as, Given the value of the state variables it is possible to calculate the values of all other thermodynamic potentials if these derivatives are known using Eqs.\eqref{eq:Urule}-\eqref{eq:Grule}. A similar approach applies to the derivatives of the Helmholtz potential, again, all other potentials may be calculated in this variable set.

As the thermodynamic potentials are state functions they must be exact differentials. By specifying the entire thermodynamic system using a single thermodynamic potential in its natural variables guarantees that this is so. This requirement of thermodynamic consistentency is fundamental and may be accidentally violated if the system is specified another way, i.e., via the derivatives of the natural potential.

In summary, at least the first and second derivatives of the natural potential ($G$ for $\left\{T,p,\left\{N_i\right\}\right\}$ state variables, $A$ for $\left\{T,V,\left\{N_i\right\}\right\}$ state variables) are required for the minimisation. The following sections discuss relationships between these derivatives.

Partial properties

As demonstrated in the section on solution for the internal energy, functions which are first-order homogeneous in their variables can be immediately expressed in terms of these derivatives. This is useful as it provided a relationship between the internal energy and the other thermodynamic potentials; however, a generalised rule would eliminate the need to generate expressions for thermodynamic properties IF their derivatives are available.

Unfortunately, the two variable sets considered here contain both homogeneous first-order ($\left\{N_i\right\}$, $V$) and inhomogeneous ($T$, $p$) variables. In this case, Euler's method does not extend to expressions which are functions of both; However, a similar solution can be derived for these expressions provided the inhomogeneous variables are restricted to intensive properties and the extensive variables together uniquely specify the total size of the system.

The derivation presented here is a generalisation of the proof for partial molar properties which you can find in any thermodynamic text (e.g., Smith, van Ness, and Abbott, Sec.11.2, 7th Ed). Consider an extensive thermodynamic property, $M$, which is a function of extensive $\left\{X_i\right\}$ and intensive $\left\{y_i\right\}$ variables. The total differential is as follows, The extensive property $M$ can be converted to a corresponding intensive property, $m$, by dividing by the system amount, i.e., $M=m\,N$. If the extensive properties are held constant and they are sufficient to determine the total system amount, $N$, then the system size, $N$, is also constant and may be factored out of $M$ in the intensive partial differential terms. In addition, ${\rm d} M={\rm d} (N\,m) = m\,{\rm d} N+N\,{\rm d}m$ and ${\rm d} X_i={\rm d} (N\,x_i) = x_i\,{\rm d} N+N\,{\rm d}x_i$. Inserting these and factoring out the terms in $N$ and ${\rm d}N$ yields, As ${\rm d}N$ and $N$ can vary independently this equation is only satisfied if the terms in parenthesis are each zero. Multiplying the first term in parenthesis by $N$ and setting it equal to zero yields the required identity, where $\bar{\bar{m}}_i=\left(\partial M/\partial X_i\right)_{\left\{X_{i\neq j}\right\},\left\{y_{k}\right\}}$ is a partial property. This is a generalised solution for an extensive property in terms of its partial properties which are its derivatives in its extensive variables and is the primary objective of our derivation; however, an additional important equation for the partial properties can be easily obtained. The derivative of Eq.\eqref{eq:partialProperty} (first divided by $N$) is, This can be used to eliminate ${\rm d}m$ from the right term of Eq.\eqref{eq:pmolarintermediate} which is also set equal to zero (and multiplied by N) to give, This is the generalised Gibbs/Duhem equation which interrelates the intensive properties of the system to the partial properties.

The most well known applications of Eqs.\eqref{eq:partialProperty} and \eqref{eq:GibbsDuhem} are for the partial molar properties when $p$, $T$, and $\left\{N_i\right\}$ are the state variables. In this case Eq.\eqref{eq:partialProperty} is where $\bar{m}_i=\left(\partial M/\partial N_i\right)_{p,T,\left\{N_{j\neq i}\right\}}$ is the partial molar property. The most important partial molar property is the chemical potential, and it has already been proven that Eq.\eqref{eq:partialMolarProperty} applies in this case, i.e., Eq.\eqref{eq:Grule} gives $G=\sum_iN_i\,\mu_i$. The corresponding Gibbs-Duhem equation for the chemical potential in $T,p,\left\{N_i\right\}$ is the most well-known form,

As derivatives are distributive, and $T$ and $p$ are held constant, the partial molar properties for the thermodynamic potentials satisfy similar relationships as the original potentials (Eqs.\eqref{eq:Urule}-\eqref{eq:Grule}). Thus, the partial molar properties not only provide a derivative in the molar amounts, but also completely describe all thermodynamic potentials and many extensive quantities (such as $V$). Simcem therefore only requires the implementation of expressions for three partial molar amounts ($\mu_i$, $\bar{v}_i$, $\bar{h}_i$) to specify all the thermodynamic potentials and their first derivative in the molar amounts for the $\left\{T,p,\left\{N_i\right\}\right\}$ variable set.

For the $\left\{T,V,\left\{N_i\right\}\right\}$ variable set, Eq.\eqref{eq:partialProperty} is, where $\breve{m}_i = \left(\partial M/\partial N_i\right)_{T,V,\left\{N_{j\neq i}\right\}}$ is deemed here to be a partial "volar" quantity. A more useful form of this expression is Eq.\eqref{eq:molartovolarproperty} which is derived in the later section on the transformation between $\bar{m}_i$ and $\breve{m}_i$.

Material properties (Bridgman tables)

There are a number of interesting properties which are derivatives of the thermodynamic potentials. For example, consider the isobaric heat capacity,

Using partial molar properties allows us to illustrate a complication in the calculation of these material properties for multi-phases/sub-systems. For example, expressing the (extensive) heat capacity in terms of the partial molar (AKA specific) heat capacity using Eq.\eqref{eq:partialMolarProperty} yields the following expression, where $\bar{c}_{p,i}=\left(\partial \bar{h}_i/\partial T\right)_{p}$ is the partial molar isobaric heat capacity. The term on the LHS of Eq.\eqref{eq:mixCp} arises from changes to the enthalpy caused by species transferring in and out of the system as the equilibrium state changes. This results in additional contributions to the apparent heat capacity above the partial molar isobaric heat capacity. For example, when a single-component fluid is at its boiling point, the apparent heat capacity of the overall system is infinite as $\partial N_i/\partial T$ is infinite due to the discontinuous change from liquid to vapour causing the instananeous transfer of molecules from one phase to another.

To complement the "equilibrium" thermodynamic $C_p$ above, it is convenient to define "frozen" thermodynamic derivatives where there are no molar fluxes, i.e., the "frozen" isobaric heat capacity, The "frozen" properties are required while calculating the gradient of thermodynamic potentials during minimisation, and arise as all molar quantities are held constant while these derivatives are taken.

The $C_p$ is just one material property; however, there are many other thermodynamic derivatives which may be calculated. Fortunately, the Bridgman tables is a convenient method to express any material property as a function of just three key material derivatives. The heat capacity is one and the other two are the isothermal ($\beta_T$) and isobaric ($\alpha$) expansivities, where $\bar{\alpha}_i\,\bar{v}_i= \left(\partial \bar{v}_{i}/\partial T\right)_{p,\left\{N_j\right\}}$ and $\bar{\beta}_{T,i}\,\bar{v}_i=-\left(\partial v_i/\partial p\right)_{T,\left\{N_j\right\}}$. Again, "frozen" material derivatives are available, The terms $\left(\partial N_i/\partial T\right)_{p,\left\{N_{j\neq i}\right\}}$ and $\left(\partial N_i/\partial p\right)_{T,\left\{N_{j\neq i}\right\}}$ which appear in the material properties must be determined from the solution to the thermodynamic minimisation problem. They quantify how the equilibrium molar amounts change for a variation in temperature and pressure and thus must account for the constraints placed on the equilibrium state and the movement of the minimia.

The Bridgman table approach decomposes every thermodynamic derivative into a look-up table for the numerator and denominator expressed in terms of the three material derivatives, $C_p$, $\alpha$, and $\beta_T$. For example, consider the following "unnatural" derivative, Thus, to generate any derivative required for minimisation, only the three "material" derivatives and three partial molar properties are required.

Product rules

This section is almost directly copied from this math.StackExchange.com post.

Consider any expression for a thermodynamic property, $M$, written in terms of the state variables, $M=M\left(\vec{X}\right)$. It is straightforward to transform this function into an implicit function $F=F\left(M,\,\vec{X}\right)=M(\vec{X}) - M=0$ which helps to illustrate that $M$ can be treated as a variable on an equal basis as $\vec{X}$. To allow a uniform representation, the arguments of $F$ are relabeled such that $F(x_1,x_2,\ldots,x_N)=0$. As the function $F$ remains at zero, holding all variables except two constant taking the total derivative and setting ${\rm d}F=0$ yields the following identity, where the partial derivatives implicitly indicate that all other variables are held constant. This rule can be combined repeatedly and the terms on the RHS eliminated provided the variables loop back on themselves. For example, The first value $n=2$ yields the well known expression or, more familiarly, Finally, $n=3$ yields the triple product rule, This rule has wide application but is particularly attractive when derivatives hold an "awkward" thermodynamic property constant. For example, consider the following case The LHS is difficult to directly calculate in the state variables chosen here; however, the RHS arising from the triple product rule is in terms of natural derivatives of $G$ which are straightforward to calculate. The triple product rule is used extensively in the following sections to express complex expressions in terms of natural derivatives.

Relation between $\bar{x}_i$ and $\breve{x}_i$

Consider a property, $M$, which is a function for four variables $x_1,x_2,x_3,x_4$. The total derivative is, Holding two variables constant and taking a derivative wrt a third yields, Three relablings of this expression can be used to interrelate two derivatives which only differ in one variable which is held constant. where the final term in parenthesis is cancelled to zero using the triple product rule. This equation is particularly useful for changing between partial quantities while pressure or volume is held constant. For example, or, in the notation used so far, This is a more useful form of Eq.\eqref{eq:partialVolarProperty}. The partial molar volume is inconvenient to derive directly when volume is an explicit variable; however, it may be expressed more conveniently using the triple product rule, This allows us to obtain partial molar properties conveniently when working with volume as a state variable.

Models ($p$ as a variable)

In this section, the calculation of the required properties for minimisation with phases specified by the following set of variables is considered, In this particular variable set, the required constraint derivatives to implement the derivative of the Lagrangian are as follows, The thermodynamic potential derivatives required to specify the derivatives of the Lagrangian (Eq.\eqref{eq:Fderiv}) as generated from Eqs.\eqref{eq:GradEqsStart}-\eqref{eq:GradEqsEnd} are where $f=\left\{H,G,-S,U,A\right\}$. These derivatives are easily expressed using the Bridgman tables in terms of the three standard material derivatives and the results are given in the table below.

$Y_1$$Y_2$$f$$\left(\frac{\partial f}{\partial N_i}\right)_{T,p,\left\{N_{j\neq i}\right\}}$$\left(\frac{\partial f}{\partial T}\right)_{p,\left\{N_j\right\}}$$\left(\frac{\partial f}{\partial p}\right)_{T,\left\{N_j\right\}}$
$p$$T$ $G$ $\mu_i$ $-S$ $V$
$V$ $T$ $A$ $\bar{a}_i$ $-(S+p\,\alpha\,V)$ $p\left(\beta_{T}\,V\right)_{\left\{N_i\right\}}$
$p$$S$ $H$ $\bar{h}_i$$C_{p,\left\{N_j\right\}}$ $V(1-T\,\alpha)$
$p$
$V$
$H$
$U$
$-S$ $-\bar{s}_i$$-T^{-1}\,C_{p,\left\{N_j\right\}}$ $\left(\alpha\,V\right)_{\left\{N_i\right\}}$
$V$ $S$ $U$ $\bar{u}_i$$C_{p,\left\{N_j\right\}}-p\left(\alpha\,V\right)_{\left\{N_i\right\}}$ $p\left(\beta_{T}\,V\right)_{\left\{N_i\right\}}-T\,\left(\alpha\,V\right)_{\left\{N_i\right\}}$

In summary, a model using this variable set must provide implementations of $\mu_i$, $\bar{v}_i$, $\bar{s}_i$, $\bar{\alpha}_i$, $\bar{\beta}_{T,i}$, and $\bar{c}_{p,i}$. These are all straightforward to obtain by performing derivatives of a Gibbs free energy function in its natural variables or integration and differentiation if a mechanical equation of state, $V\left(T,p,\left\{N_i\right\}\right)$, is available.

All other partial molar properties are obtained using Eqs.\eqref{eq:partialmolarrelationstart}-\eqref{eq:partialmolarrelationend} expressed in the following form. Most other relevant thermodynamic properties are calculated using the Bridgman tables.

Ideal gas model

The ideal gas model is not only a good approximation for gases at low pressures, but it is also a key reference "state" for most complex equations. A thermodynamic path can be constructed to the ideal gas state at low pressures for most models, thus in this case a "ideal-gas" contribution can be factored out from these models.

The ideal gas chemical potential is defined as follows, where $p_0$ is the reference pressure at which the temperature-dependent term, $\mu^{(ig)}_{i}(T)$, is measured and $N_\alpha$ is the total moles of the phase $\alpha$.

Using the chemical potential as a generating function, the minimial set of partial molar properties is derived below. where the partial molar heat capacity has been implicitly defined as $C_{p,\left\{N_i\right\}}^{(ig)} = \sum_i N_i\,\bar{c}_{p,i}^{(ig)}$.

The model is not completely specified until the pure function of temperature, $\mu_{i}^{(ig)}(T)=h_{i}^{(ig)}(T) - T\,s_{i}^{(ig)}(T)$, is specified, and this is discussed in the following section.

Ideal-gas isobaric contribution $\mu_{i}^{(ig)}(T)$

The term $\mu_{i}^{(ig)}(T)$ is a function of temperature which is directly related to the thermodynamic properties of a single isolated molecule (molecules of ideal gases do not interact). There are many theoretical approaches to expressing these terms for solids, simple models (i.e., rotors), and quantum mechanics can even directly calculate values for real molecules. However these results are obtained, this term is typically parameterised using polynomial equations.

The most common parameterisation is to use a polynomial for the heat capacity. This is common to the NIST, NASA CEA, ChemKin, and many other thermodynamic databases. A heat capacity polynomial can be related to the enthalpy and entropy through two additional constants, To demonstrate how this is correct, consider a closed system, At constant pressure the following expression holds, Thus, where $T_{ref}$ is a reference Performing this integration for the polynomial of Eq.\eqref{eq:cppoly}, where the two additional constants $\bar{h}_i^0$ and $\bar{s}_i^0$ must be determined through construction of a thermodynamic path to a known value of the entropy and enthalpy. This is usually through heats of reaction, solution, and equilibria such as vapour pressure, linking to the elements at standard conditions.

To allow this data to be expressed as a single function in Simcem, it is expressed directly as $\mu_i^{(ig)}(T)$ using the following transformation, where,

The most comprehensive (and most importantly, free!) source of ideal gas heat capacities and constants is the NASA CEA database, but additional constants are widely available. When collecting $c_p$ data, a distinction must be made between the calculated ideal gas properties and the measured data. The measured data may include additional contributions from the interactions of the molecules and thus must be fitted with the full chemical potential model and not just the ideal gas model.

Incompressible phase

Another useful reference state is the incompressible phase. This model is used to describe liquid and solid phases when an equation of state describing all phases at once is unavailable. The generating chemical potential is as follows, where $\mu^{(ip)}_{i}(T)$ is again a temperature-dependent term and $\bar{v}^0_{i}$ is the (constant) partial molar volume of the incompressible species $i$. Using the expression for the chemical potential as a generating function all required properties are recovered, As $\alpha$ and $\beta_T$ are zero, some thermodynamic properties are not well specified but can be determined by other means. For example, $\bar{c}_p^{(ip)}=\bar{c}_v^{(ip)}$. In Simcem, ideal solids still contain a mixing entropy term which is included to allow ideal solid solutions to be constructed and used as a base class for more complex models.

Models ($V$ as a variable)

In this section, the calculation of the required properties for minimisation with phases specified by the following set of variables is considered, In this variable set, the required non-zero derivatives to compute the constraint functions are as follows, These derivatives are convenient to determine in this variable set and also indirectly specify $\alpha$ and $\beta_T$ which are two of the three required material derivatives to allow use of the Bridgman tables. The third molar derivative is also convenient to determine and provides a direct path to the molar volume as given in Eq.\eqref{eq:TVpartialmolarvolume} and reproduced below, Thus, these three derivatives are required to be implemented by all models and used to derive other properties. The derivatives of the potentials are as follows where $f=\left\{H,G,-S,U,A\right\}$. The derivatives for each potential are specified below in terms of the most convenient properties/derivatives for this variable set.

$Y_1$$Y_2$$f$$\left(\frac{\partial f}{\partial N_i}\right)_{T,V,\left\{N_{j\neq i}\right\}}$$\left(\frac{\partial f}{\partial T}\right)_{V,\left\{N_j\right\}}$$\left(\frac{\partial f}{\partial V}\right)_{T,\left\{N_j\right\}}$
$p$$T$ $G$ $\breve{g}_i$ $V\,\left(\frac{\partial p}{\partial T}\right)_{V,\left\{N_i \right\}} -S$$V \left(\frac{\partial p}{\partial V}\right)_{T,\left\{N_i\right\}}$
$V$$T$ $A$ $\breve{a}_i$ $-S$$-p$
$p$$S$ $H$ $\breve{h}_i$ $C_{V,\left\{N_i\right\}}+V\,\left(\frac{\partial p}{\partial T}\right)_{V, \left\{N_i\right\}}$$V\left(\frac{\partial p}{\partial V}\right)_{T,\left\{N_i\right\}}+T\left(\frac{\partial p}{\partial T}\right)_{V,\left\{N_i\right\}}$
$p$
$V$
$H$
$U$
$-S$ $-\breve{s}_i$ $-\frac{C_{V,\left\{N_i\right\}}}{T}$$-\left(\frac{\partial p}{\partial T}\right)_{V,\left\{N_i\right\}}$
$V$$S$ $U$ $\breve{u}_i$ $C_{V,\left\{N_i\right\}}$$T\,\left(\frac{\partial p}{\partial T}\right)_{V,\left\{N_i\right\}} - p$

where $C_V = \left(\partial U/\partial T\right)_V$, and is related to the isobaric heat capacity using the following relationship, In summary, models should provide equations to calculate $p$, $\breve{a}_i$, $\breve{u}_i$, $C_{v,\left\{N_i\right\}}$, $\left(\partial p/\partial V\right)_{T,\left\{N_i\right\}}$, $\left(\partial p/\partial T\right)_{V,\left\{N_i\right\}}$, $\left(\partial p/\partial N_i\right)_{T,V,\left\{N_{j\neq i}\right\}}$. These derivatives are used to compute the frozen $\alpha$ and $\beta_T$ values using Eqs.\eqref{eq:VMatDeriv1} and \eqref{eq:VMatDeriv1}. The third material derivative, $C_{p,\left\{N_i\right\}}$, is then obtained from Eq.\eqref{eq:CpCv}. The partial molar volume is calculated from Eq.\eqref{eq:TVpartialmolarvolume}. The partial volar/molar quantities are related by Eq.\eqref{eq:molartovolarproperty}; however, the partial volar Helmholtz free energy is equal to the chemical potential, just like any molar derivative of a potential when its natural variables are held constant (see Eq.\eqref{eq:ChemPotDefinition}). Thus, the partial volar/molar Gibbs and Helmholtz free energies are closely related, All other required partial thermodynamic potential properties are derived using straightforward applications of Eq.\eqref{eq:molartovolarproperty} and the partial molar relations of Eqs.\eqref{eq:partialmolarrelationstart}-\eqref{eq:partialmolarrelationend}, the results of which are below,

Ideal gas model

As experimental ideal-gas data is usually presented in terms of isobaric polynomials, the ideal gas functions here are based on the previous form of the ideal gas model given in Eq.\eqref{eq:idealgasmuTP}. Transforming the pressure variable to phase volume yields the following definition of the chemical potential and partial volar Helmholtz free energy, The pressure derivatives are obtained from the well known relation $p=N\,R\,T/V$, Finally, the internal energy and heat capacity are as follows,

Cubic equations of state

Incomplete notes

Bijection of variables

During the minimisation, the state variables are constrained to remain zero or positive. I.e., $T\in[0,\infty),\,p\in[0,\infty),\,N_i\in[0,\infty)$. Algorithmically, it is difficult to restrict the optimisation to remain in the positive space of these variables. The derivative of the thermodynamic potential may indicate that these variables should decrease and an "overenthusiastic" numerical step may lead to these decreasing below zero. One approach is to move the optimisation back along the initial step (back-tracking) into the valid domain whenever it leaves but this approach can slow the progression towards minima. It is more stable to transform the system to remove these constraints.

To ensure that the variables remain positive throughout the optimisation, a bijection can be used to transform the original bounded variable onto an unbounded one, i.e., $(0,+\infty)\to(-\infty,+\infty)$. One example of such a bijection is the exponential mapping, This bijection has the appropriate mapping of $y(0)=-\infty$ and $y(+\infty) = +\infty$, and each value in-between has a corresponding transformed value. Thus, if the variables of the optimisation are $\ln T$ and $\ln p$ instead of $T$ and $p$, additional constraints are not needed to ensure $T$ and $p$ remain positive.

It should be noted that zero is mapped to $-\infty$ in this bijection which implies that in the finite region of $y(x)$ it is "impossible" to reach $x=0$. Zero values of temperature and/or pressure are uninteresting and physically inaccessible thus there is no issue here with this exclusion, but this is not the case for the molar amounts. If a zero value of a molar amount is possible, then using logarithmic coordinates will cause the minimisation to "diverge" and eventually overflow (it will not in general reach negative infinity).

Molar amounts can clearly reduce to zero, i.e., water can completely convert to steam on heating; however, on the other hand some processes such as reactions never reach completion. This behaviour depends on the mixing contribution to the chemical potential, Complete reaction or removal of a species is impossible when mixing is present as $\lim_{N_{i,l}\to0}\Delta\mu_{i,l}^{ideal mixing}=+\infty$. It is always favourable to retain some degree of mixing if physically possible. If there is no mixing, then $N_{i,l}/N_l=1$ regardless of the value of $N_{i,l}$, thus there is no divergence in the chemical potential as $N_{i,l}\to0$.

Thus, logarithmic molar amounts are used whenever mixing is present, but in pure stochiometric phases the original linear molar amounts are used. If the initial molar amount is zero (i.e., reaction of pure reactants, zero products), then these quantities are initialised to the smallest non-zero (non-denormalized) amount ($<10^{-307}$). Interestingly, $\ln(10^{-307})\approx-707$ which demonstrates the compression of the logarithmic bijection and its ability to handle a wider range of values in the same representation (albeit with reduced precision).

While working in logartihmic coordinates, any derivatives will also need to be transformed but this is straightforward for this bijection, In summary, logarithmic temperature, pressure, and molar amounts are always used except for molar amounts of pure phases where linear terms are used. Linear molar amounts have positive bound constraints and logarithmic values are constrained to give a non-zero double precision representation (these are imposed via the optimisation algorithm typically using back-tracking), i.e., where $\left\{N_i\right\}$ are molar amounts for pure phases and $\left\{\ln N_j\right\}$ are logarithmic amounts for mixed phases.

Solution for molar derivatives

The terms $\left(\partial N_i/\partial T\right)_p$ and $\left(\partial N_i/\partial p\right)_T$ must be calculated for a particular equilibrium solution.

Unfortunately, this is quite hard to determine! It turns out that Aspen requires these are numerically determined (see their Toolkit manual, 2006). NASA CEA manages to work it out by taking derivatives of the Lagrange function (which I started below) but I couldn't figure out how to do this in general (without incorporating the thermodynamic model used). This is abandoned for now!

Consider an equilibrium system. A change of variables is performed to convert the state variables into the natural variables of the thermodynamic potential, $f$, which is being minimised. In this representation, the state vector is $\vec{X}=\left\{N_i\right\}$ and the constraint functions only consider elemental or species constraints. A similar equation to Eq.\eqref{eq:lagrangianResult} is then generated using the same arguments: The molar derivative of the thermodynamic potential, $f$, is always the chemical potential whenever the natural variables are held constant. Inserting Eq.\eqref{eq:ChemPotDefinition} into Eq.\eqref{eq:molarderivativespt1} and simplifying yields the following equation,

Scaling the optimisation problem

References

The most precise and concise derivation of thermodynamics I have found is the review of thermodynamics which is part of the Statistical Physics Using Mathematica course by James J. Kelly.

All relevant thermodynamic equations are concisely summarized on Wikipedia's thermodynamic equations.

Credits

The SimCem interface and computational code was written by Marcus Bannerman. The database and its interface has been developed with a number of students who are listed below.

Theodore Hanein researched the literature and reviewed the available thermodynamic data for phases relevant to cement as part of his PhD studies. He later assisted in entering this information into SimCem, as well as helping in the testing of the code and website.

Lewis McRae provided the python cubic equation of state implementation. He also added include molecular structure information as well as common aliases using the PubChem REST interface during a Carnegie Vacation Scholarship.

This work could not exist without the free data provided by the NASA CEA application database.
Without their free collection of ideal gas contributions for molecules, our research could not have begun.

Isotopic masses were obtained from the electronic file at https://www-nds.iaea.org/amdc. These are also published in Audi et. al., "The AME2012 atomic mass evalulation", Chinese Physics C, 36,1287-2014 (2012).

Isotopic abundances were scraped from the table given by CIAAW. This data was scraped on 29/07/2015.

The PubChem PUG REST interface was used to scrape additional information on molecules, such as their structure, common names, and CAS identifiers.

Finally, a huge number of open-source libraries are used in this project. JQuery, Flot.js, SlickGrid.js, Hover.css, MathJax, NLOpt, Boost.Python, Tornado, JsTree, and more I've probably forgotten.

We stand on the shoulders of giants.