Biophysical Viscosity: Thermodynamic Principles of per Capita Chemical Potentials in Human Populations

R. P. Oates, Todd A. Anderson, Audra N. Morse, Cassiana C. Montagner, David M. Klein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Dynamic viscosity has been used to describe molecular resistance to flow under an applied force. This study introduces the theory of biophysical viscosity, the resistance of a region to molecular flow under environmental force to define the rates of per capita anthropogenic chemical efflux into the environment. Biophysical viscosity is an important intermediate quantity, in that it can be used to calculate the chemical potentials of single molecules for individuals in a population. Nonhypothetical emission data was combined with chemical potentials of anthropogenic tracers, to demonstrate that thermodynamic quantities can be used as parameters to directly compare energies associated with individual chemical emissions across geographic regions. These results indicate that population density is not the only factor in the determination of population-level chemical efflux and that biophysical viscosity is a useful tool in determining the per capita chemical potentials of anthropogenic chemicals for environmental risk assessment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2878-2882
Number of pages5
JournalACS Omega
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 30 2017


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