A study of the potential of nanofluids as heating and cooling mediums

Project: Dissertation

Research areas and keywords


  • Ionic liquids, Heat transfer, Nanofluid


The recent progress in nanotechnology opens new opportunities for doping base fluids with nanoscale additives to tune the heat flow more efficiently. Nanofluids are emerging as a new class of heat transfer or thermal energy storage fluids with enhanced heat transfer properties by adding nanoscale structures (e.g., particles, fibers, composites at least with one dimension less than about 100 nm) into conventional heat transfer fluids (e.g., water, ethylene glycol, engine oil). Nanofluids in this context have excited extensive early-stage research efforts, due to both fundamental interests as well as potential technological applications.

Ionic liquids (ILs), room-temperature molten salts, have the characteristics of beign in a liquid state over a wide temperature range, usually beneath 0 degrees C up to 250 degrees C, low vapor pressure and high thermal stability, which enable them to be used as a new group of environmental-friendly heat transfer fluids for heat exchange in solar thermal electricity generation and a variety of process industries.

The main objectives of this work is
1) To comprehensively characterize ionic liquid based nanofluids containing nanostructures (e.g., graphene, magnetic nanoparticles, hybrid nanocomposites) for a wide range of temperatures, in terms of colloidal stability, nanoparticle clustering, thermophysical properties especially thermal conductivity, viscosity and heat capacity, and long-term thermal stability.

2)To develop the rheology - cluster morphology – theory of thermal conduction at lower temperatures, and to quantify the contributions of various heat transfer mechanisms at relatively higher temperatures
Effective start/end date2018/04/032023/04/03