Interface-inspired formulation and molecular-level perspectives on heat conduction and energy storage of nanofluids

I Carrillo-Berdugo and D Zorrilla and J Sanchez-Marquez and T Aguilar and JJ Gallardo and R Gomez-Villarejo and R Alcantara and C Fernandez- Lorenzo and J Navas, SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 9, 7595 (2019).

DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-44054-0

Aiming for the introduction of stability requirements in nanofluids processing, an interface-based three-step method is proposed in this work. It is theory-based design framework for nanofluids that aims for a minimum tension at the solid-liquid interface by adjusting the polar and dispersive components of the base fluid to meet those of disperse nanomaterial. The method was successfully tested in the preparation of aqueous nanofluids containing single-walled carbon nanotubes that resulted to be stable and to provide good thermal properties, i.e. thermal conductivity increases by 79.5% and isobaric specific heat by 8.6% for a 0.087 vol.% load of nanotubes at 70 degrees C. Besides, a system for these nanofluids was modelled. It was found to be thermodynamically consistent and computationally efficient, providing consistent response to changes in the state variable temperature in a classical Molecular Dynamics environment. From an analysis of the spatial components of the heat flux autocorrelation function, using the equilibrium approach, it was possible to elucidate that heat conduction through the host fluid is enhanced by phonon propagation along nanotubes longitudinal axes. From an analysis of the structural features described by radial distribution functions, it was concluded that additional heat storage arises from the hydrophobic effect.

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