Chemical engineering and complexity, an undissipated structure...yet/ Engenharia química e complexidade, uma estrutura não dissipada... ainda

Jaime Aguilar-Arias, Astrid Altamar-Consuegra


The devastating worldwide repercussions of recent events, those of which include the pandemic emergency, are showing with facts the need to redefine the paradigms of our current model of society, in regard to economics, education, health, etc. This redefinition requires complex thinking if effective solutions are to be implemented. As a branch of thermodynamics, Complexity was first studied through Prigogine’s Dissipative Structures, developing models that are able to simulate strange events present in nature, as bifurcation phenomena. His aforementioned concepts also manage to discuss the applications of Complexity within chemical engineering and economics, also leading to suggest a link to the Great Unification theories, through some elements of the Standard Model of Particles, in order to show some sort of parallelism based on bifurcation-like transformations taking place on elementary particles. The role of chemical engineers in this redefinition could be crucial, if in addition to the conventional role on chemical processes, the holistic approach to problems that is coined in their formation is also exploited. Achieving this will prove far more effective through a change in education, where the focus is widened beyond typical problem solving and into the inclusion of the social impacts accompanying chemical processes. For this, Complexity tools are essential, leading engineers to play an even more active role in society.




Dissipative Structures, Stability Criteria, Bifurcation, Complexity, Social Engineering.

Texto completo:



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