Nanofluids: From Vision to Reality Through Research

[+] Author and Article Information
Stephen U. S. Choi

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607suschoi@uic.edu

J. Heat Transfer 131(3), 033106 (Jan 21, 2009) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3056479 History: Received March 15, 2008; Revised June 06, 2008; Published January 21, 2009

Nanofluids are a new class of nanotechnology-based heat transfer fluids engineered by dispersing and stably suspending nanoparticles with typical length on the order of 1–50 nm in traditional heat transfer fluids. For the past decade, pioneering scientists and engineers have made phenomenal discoveries that a very small amount (<1vol%) of guest nanoparticles can provide dramatic improvements in the thermal properties of the host fluids. For example, some nanofluids exhibit superior thermal properties such as anomalously high thermal conductivity at low nanoparticle concentrations, strong temperature- and size-dependent thermal conductivity, a nonlinear relationship between thermal conductivity and concentration, and a threefold increase in the critical heat flux at a small particle concentration of the order of 10 ppm. Nanofluids are of great scientific interest because these unprecedented thermal transport phenomena surpass the fundamental limits of conventional macroscopic theories of suspensions. Therefore, numerous mechanisms and models have been proposed to account for these unexpected, intriguing thermal properties of nanofluids. These discoveries also show that nanofluids technology can provide exciting new opportunities to develop nanotechnology-based coolants for a variety of innovative engineering and medical applications. As a result, the study of nanofluids has emerged as a new field of scientific research and innovative applications. Hence, the subject of nanofluids is of great interest worldwide for basic and applied research. This paper highlights recent advances in this new field of research and shows future directions in nanofluids research through which the vision of nanofluids can be turned into reality.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Effects of thermal conductivity and pumping power on heat transfer

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Figure 2

Exponential increase in Science Citation Index (SCI) publications. Nanofluids now show one of the fastest growth rates in scientific papers in nanoscale science and technology.

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Figure 3

The thermal conductivity of nanofluids depends on nanoparticle concentration and synthesis method

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Figure 4

Thermal behavior of first nanofluids containing carbon nanotubes

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Figure 5

The strong temperature dependence of thermal conductivity of nanofluids

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Figure 6

Zero shear viscosity of CuO-ethylene glycol nanofluid as a function of particle volume fraction

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Figure 7

Nanofluids can increase the pool boiling CHF by a factor of 3

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Figure 8

Experimental data from Das (18) and predictions from Jang and Choi’s (20) new model based on nanoconvection induced by Brownian motion



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