Editorial Feature

Thermal Characteristics of Water-Based Nanofluids

Thermal analysis is a powerful method for describing a material's physical and chemical characteristics. Its usage in the research of nanofluids, which have shown great promise in various applications, including heat transfer, lubrication, and biomedicine, has grown recently. This article focuses on the use of thermal analysis in characterizing water-based nanofluids.

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Thermal Characteristics of Nanofluids

A nanofluid is a fluid that contains nanoparticles that have been dispersed evenly throughout the fluid. Nanoparticles, generally smaller than 100 nanometers, are combined with a base fluid (such as water) to create nanofluids.

These nanoparticles can have a significant impact on the thermal properties of the fluid. The thermal conductivity of the base fluid can be significantly increased by the inclusion of these nanoparticles, making nanofluids an appealing option for heat transfer applications.

Thermal Analysis to Characterize the Thermal Properties of Nanofluids

Thermal analysis is required to characterize the thermal properties of nanofluids, such as thermal conductivity, thermal diffusivity, and specific heat capacity, to comprehend their behavior completely. The design and functionality of heat transfer systems based on nanofluids may be optimized using these features as a result.

The degree to which different working fluids in thermal systems can transmit heat from one another is one of the most important aspects determining how well thermal systems function. To improve the heat transfer properties of the base fluids, nanoparticles are incorporated into the fluids in very small concentrations. If an increase in heat transmission is desired, the thermal conductivity of the nanofluids is thought to be the most critical parameter among its many other hermos-physical features.

Water-Based Nanofluids

The availability and cheap cost of water as a base fluid make water-based nanofluids a particularly intriguing class of nanofluids. Thermal analysis methods have been used to study water-based nanofluids in great detail, emphasizing the fluid’s thermal conductivity.

According to several studies, adding nanoparticles like carbon nanotubes, copper, and alumina may significantly increase the thermal conductivity of water-based nanofluids. However, there are currently ongoing studies into how the concentration and size of nanoparticles affect the thermal characteristics of water-based nanofluids.

Industrial Applications of Water-Based Nanofluids

There are several potential uses for water-based nanofluids in numerous sectors. Traditional heat transfer systems can be more effective and perform better if water-based nanofluids are used. They can be used in solar thermal systems, automobile cooling, and electronics cooling systems.

Water-based nanofluids can also be utilized in thermal energy storage systems as a heat transmission medium. Additionally, they can store renewable energy from solar and wind energy sources, which can subsequently be utilized to meet peak energy demand.

Recent Studies on Thermal Characteristics of Water Based Nanofluids

Effects of Nano-Fe2O3 Concentration on Thermal Properties of Water-Based Nanofluid

In a recent study, water-based nanofluids with different mass fractions of nano-iron oxide (Fe2O3) were examined for their ability to transmit heat. In a broad range of temperatures, the thermal conductivity variation and the corresponding changes in the absolute viscosity of the nanofluids were evaluated.

The results showed that increasing the mass fraction of nano-iron oxide and raising the temperature increased thermal conductivity. Contrarily, the addition of nano-iron oxide raised the absolute viscosity, and a tendency toward a decrease in absolute viscosity was seen as the temperature rose.

Al2O3-Water Nanofluid’s Thermal Characteristics

Previous studies have shown that adding nanoparticles to a base fluid can change the viscosity, specific heat, and thermal conductivity of the resulting nanofluid. However, the use of thermal analysis to study the effect of surfactants on the thermal properties of nanofluids is a relatively new area of research.

The characterization of water-based nanofluids via thermal analysis is highlighted in another recent study. The research examined how a surfactant affects an Al2O3-water nanofluid’s thermal characteristics. The nanofluid’s heat capacity, enthalpy, and thermal stability were measured using differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and thermal gravimetric analysis (TGA).

The heat capacity and enthalpy of the nanofluid increased at low concentrations and decreased at higher concentrations, indicating that the surfactant had a significant impact on the nanofluid’s thermal characteristics. The TGA measurement also revealed that the surfactant enhanced the nanofluid’s thermal stability.

Industrial Applications

The results of these studies have applications in various fields, including energy, electronics, and biomedicine. The use of water-based nanofluids in the power industry is being investigated as a way to enhance heat transfer in cooling systems for power plants and electronic equipment. Water-based nanofluids are being researched for their potential to improve the thermal management of microprocessors and other components in the electronics sector. Water-based nanofluids’ possible applications in biomedicine include medication delivery and medical imaging.

Future Prospects

It is anticipated that water-based nanofluids will play an important role in the development of thermal aspects of nanotechnology in the future. As research continues, the knowledge of nanofluids’ thermal characteristics will grow, enabling the creation of brand-new, cutting-edge nanofluid systems.

Recently nanofluids have been researched for their possible use in solar energy systems and as coolants in nuclear reactors. There will probably be other uses for nanofluids as more study is done on their characteristics and behavior.

Continue reading: Thermal Energy Transfer in Nanomaterials

References and Further Study

Baek, S., Shin, D., Kim, G., Lee, A., Noh, J., Choi, B., ... & Sung, Y. (2021). Influence of amphoteric and anionic surfactants on stability, surface tension, and thermal conductivity of Al2O3/water nanofluids. Case Studies in Thermal Engineering. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214157X21001581

Dattu, V. S. C., Roniki, V. R., Prasad, P. R., Tupati, P. R., Devi, N. G., & Chavakula, R. (2022). Influence of Nano-Fe2O3 concentration on thermal characteristics of the water based Nanofluid. Materials Today: Proceedings. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2214785322032102

Hemmat Esfe, M., Saedodin, S., Yan, W. M., Afrand, M., & Sina, N. (2016). Study on thermal conductivity of water-based nanofluids with hybrid suspensions of CNTs/Al 2 O 3 nanoparticles. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry. https://research.iaun.ac.ir/pd/afrand/pdfs/PaperM_1045.pdf

Pourrajab, R., Noghrehabadi, A., Behbahani, M., & Hajidavalloo, E. (2021). An efficient enhancement in thermal conductivity of water-based hybrid nanofluid containing MWCNTs-COOH and Ag nanoparticles: experimental study. Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10973-020-09300-y

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Taha Khan

Written by

Taha Khan

Taha graduated from HITEC University Taxila with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. During his studies, he worked on several research projects related to Mechanics of Materials, Machine Design, Heat and Mass Transfer, and Robotics. After graduating, Taha worked as a Research Executive for 2 years at an IT company (Immentia). He has also worked as a freelance content creator at Lancerhop. In the meantime, Taha did his NEBOSH IGC certification and expanded his career opportunities.  

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