“Green tribology” is the concept that was introduced in 2009 by the founder of Tribology, Prof. P. Jost, who defined it as “the science and technology of the tribological aspects of ecological balance and of environmental and biological impacts.” This includes tribological technology that mimics living nature (biomimetic surfaces) and thus is expected to be environment-friendly, the control of friction and wear that is of importance for energy conservation and conversion, environmental aspects of lubrication and surface modification techniques, and tribological aspects of green applications such as the wind-power turbines, tidal turbines, or solar panels. It is clear that a number of tribological problems could be put under the umbrella of “green tribology” and is of mutual benefit to one another. Biomimetic applications are of particular interest for the Green Tribology, because of their environment-friendliness. Nosonovsky and Bhushan suggested the “12 principles of the Green Tribology.” The common feature in various biomimetic surfaces is their hierarchical structure and the ability for self-organization. I will discuss the principles of self-organization in hierarchical tribological systems on the basis of the concepts of the non-equilibrium thermodynamics (the Onsager formalism). In particular, I will show that the thermodynamic approach in tribology can yield new and practically important results.

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