My textbook Fundamentals of engineering thermodynamics, Moran and Shapiro states:
The exergy is the maximum theoretical work obtainable for an overall system consisting of a system and the environment as the system comes into equilibrium with the environment (passes to the dead state).
The exergy of a system (which I'll call $\chi$), at a specified state is given by the expression: $$ \chi = (U-U_o)+p_o(V-V_o)-T_o(S-S_o) +KE +PE$$ Where $S_o, U_o$ etc. denote the dead states of a system. An Exergy change is : $$\chi_2 - \chi_1 = (U_2-U_1)+p_o(V_2-V_1)-T_o(S_2-S_1) +(K.E._2-K.E._1) +(P.E._2-P.E._1)-^?T_o\sigma_o$$
Where $\sigma_o$ is the "entropy production" and I'm not sure if it belongs there or not. The equation is clearly related to the Gibbs free energy, but the gibbs free energy is for an isothermal and isobaric process (natural variables are T and P). It seems obvious to me that if a system is passing to the dead state it's temperature and pressure could change, for example: as a cup of coffee comes into equilibrium with the environment it's temperature will eventually be the same as the temperature of the "reservoir".(Note that these equations can also be expressed as rates)
I haven't really been satisfied with the depth of the physics in my textbook and have had trouble finding good conceptual and mathematical explanations of exergy and exergy destruction.
Can someone present a thermodynamic or statistical-mechanical description of exergy and exergy destruction? The intuitive mechanical engineer explanation I've come across is that it is about the economics of energy use (for example: heating your house with a radiator would be a poor use of exergy), but I'd like something more mathematically rigorous if possible. Online references or a generalized example would be great too.