Molecular chemical engines: Pseudo-static processes and the mechanism of energy transduction

Kazuo Sasaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


We propose a simple theoretical model for a molecular chemical engine that catalyzes a chemical reaction and converts the free energy released by the reaction into mechanical work. Binding and unbinding processes of reactant and product molecules to and from the engine are explicitly taken into account. The work delivered by the engine is calculated analytically for infinitely slow ("pseudo-static") processes, which can be reversible (quasi-static) or irreversible, controlled by an external agent. It is shown that the work larger than the maximum value limited by the second law of thermodynamics can be obtained in a single cycle of operation by chance, although the statistical average of the work never exceeds this limit and the maximum work is delivered if the process is reversible. The mechanism of the energy transduction is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2973-2980
Number of pages8
Journaljournal of the physical society of japan
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2005 Nov
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy transduction
  • Molecular chemical engine
  • Quasi-static process
  • The second law of thermodynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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