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Nanofluids for heat transfer: an engineering approach

Elena V Timofeeva1*, Wenhua Yu1, David M France2, Dileep Singh3 and Jules L Routbort1

Author Affiliations

1 Energy Systems Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439, USA

2 Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA

3 Nuclear Engineering Division, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL 60439, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:182  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-182

Published: 28 February 2011


An overview of systematic studies that address the complexity of nanofluid systems and advance the understanding of nanoscale contributions to viscosity, thermal conductivity, and cooling efficiency of nanofluids is presented. A nanoparticle suspension is considered as a three-phase system including the solid phase (nanoparticles), the liquid phase (fluid media), and the interfacial phase, which contributes significantly to the system properties because of its extremely high surface-to-volume ratio in nanofluids. The systems engineering approach was applied to nanofluid design resulting in a detailed assessment of various parameters in the multivariable nanofluid systems. The relative importance of nanofluid parameters for heat transfer evaluated in this article allows engineering nanofluids with desired set of properties.