n
f
/
f
)
1.0
1.2
1.4
1.6
1.8
2.0
2.2
2.4
TiO
2
/DIW
Masuda et al. [48] (TiO
2
/water)
Al
2
O
3
/DIW
Wang et al. [7] (Al
2
O
3
/water)
K-D [55] model (TiO
2
/DIW)
Nielsen's [56] model (TiO
2
/DIW)
Fig. 4. Relative viscosities of nanouids with nanoparticle volume
fraction.
S.M.S. Murshed et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 28 (2008) 21092125 2117
should be carried out on the eective viscosity of
nanouids.
6. Theoretical studies on nanouids
6.1. Underlying mechanisms for the enhanced thermal
conductivity of nanouids
The classical models which were developed from the
eective medium theory for the eective thermal conductiv-
ity of composites have been veried by experimental data
for mixtures with low concentrations of milli- or microme-
ter-sized particles. Experiments have shown that nanouids
exhibit anomalously high thermal conductivity, which can-
not be predicted accurately by the classical models. To
explain the observed enhanced thermal conductivity of
nanouids, Wang et al. [7] and Keblinski et al. [37] pro-
posed various mechanisms, which were not considered by
classical models. Wang et al. [7] suggested that the micro-
scopic motion of nanoparticles, the surface properties,
and the structural eects might cause enhanced thermal
conductivity of nanouids. In nanouids, the microscopic
motion of the nanoparticles due to Brownian motion,
van der Waals force, and electrostatic force can be signi-
cant. Wang et al. however, showed that Brownian motion
does not contribute signicantly to the heat energy trans-
port in nanouids. They indicated that the electric double
layer and van der Waals force could have strong electroki-
netic eects on the nanoparticles. The surface properties
and structural eects were not conrmed as potential
mechanisms in their study.
Keblinski et al. [37] later elucidated four possible mech-
anisms for the anomalous increase in nanouids heat trans-
fer, and these mechanisms are (i) Brownian motion of the
nanoparticles, (ii) liquid layering at the liquid/particle
interface, (iii) nature of the heat transport in the nanopar-
ticles, and (iv) the eect of nanoparticle clustering.
Brownian motion is caused by the random bombard-
ment of liquid molecules. Due to the Brownian motion,
particles randomly move through the liquid, thereby
enabling stronger transport of heat (compared to sole heat
conduction), which can increase the eective thermal con-
ductivity. For Brownian motion to be a signicant contrib-
utor to the thermal conductivity, it would have to be a
more ecient mechanism than thermal diusion in the
uid. However, by a simple analysis, Keblinski et al. [37]
showed that the thermal diusion is much faster than
Brownian diusion, even within the limits of extremely
small particles.
When the size of the nanoparticles in a nanouid
becomes less than the phonon mean-free path, phonons
no longer diuse across the nanoparticle but move ballisti-
cally without any scattering. However, it is dicult to envi-
sion how ballistic phonon transport could be more eective
than a very-fast diusion phonon transport, particularly to
the extent of explaining anomalously high thermal conduc-
tivity of nanouids. No further work or analysis has been
reported on the ballistic heat transport nature of nanopar-
ticles. Instead, the continuum approach was adopted in all
reported works [17,29,35,38].
Liquid layering around the particle (i.e. nanolayer) was
proposed as another responsible mechanism accounting
for higher thermal properties of nanouids. The basic idea
is that liquidmolecules canforma layer aroundthe solidpar-
ticles and thereby enhance the local ordering of the atomic
structure at the interface region. Hence, the atomic structure
of such liquid layer is signicantly more ordered than that of
the bulk liquid. Given that solids, which have much ordered
atomic structure, exhibit much higher thermal conductivity
than liquids, the liquid layer at the interface would reason-
ably have a higher thermal conductivity than the bulk liquid.
Thus the nanolayer is considered as an important factor
enhancing the thermal conductivity of nanouids.
The eective volume of a cluster is considered much lar-
ger than the volume of the particles due to the lower pack-
ing fraction (ratio of the volume of the solid particles in the
cluster to the total volume of the cluster) of the cluster.
Since heat can be transferred rapidly within such clusters,
the volume fraction of the highly conductive phase (cluster)
is larger than the volume of solid, thus increasing its ther-
mal conductivity [11,37]. It is however noted that in gen-
eral, clustering may also exert a negative eect on heat
transfer enhancement, particularly at a low volume frac-
tion by settling small particles out of the liquid and creating
a large regions of particle free liquid with a high thermal
resistance [37].
Besides these mechanisms, it is the authors believe that
the eects of particle surface chemistry and particles inter-
action for nanometer-sized particles could be signicant in
enhancing the thermal conductivity of nanouids.
6.2. Models for the eective thermal conductivity
To predict the eective thermal conductivity of solid
particle suspensions, several models were developed since
the treatise by Maxwell [1]. As mentioned previously, these
classical models such as those attributed to Maxwell [1],
HamiltonCrosser [58], Bruggeman (Hui et al. [59]), and
Wasp (Xuan and Li [8]) were developed for predicting
the eective thermal conductivity of a continuum medium
with well-dispersed solid particles.
The Maxwell model [1] was developed to determine the
eective electrical or thermal conductivity of liquidsolid
suspensions for low volumetric loading of spherical parti-
cles. This model is applicable to statistically homogeneous
and low volume fraction liquidsolid suspensions with ran-
domly dispersed and uniformly sized spherical particles.
Hamilton and Crosser [58] modied Maxwells model to
determine the eective thermal conductivity of nonspheri-
cal particles by applying a shape factor. For spherical par-
ticles, the Hamilton and Crosser (HC) model reduces to the
Maxwell model. The Bruggeman model (BGM) [59] is
another well-known model for determining the eective
thermal conductivity of mixture and composites. In this
2118 S.M.S. Murshed et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 28 (2008) 21092125
model, the mean eld approach is used to analyze the inter-
actions among the randomly distributed particles. The
Wasp model is the same as the Maxwell model although
it is not specied for any particular shape of particles.
The classical models were found to be unable to predict
the anomalously high thermal conductivity of nanouids.
This is because these models do not include the eects of
particle size, interfacial layer at the particle/liquid interface,
and Brownian motion of particles, which are considered as
important factors for enhancing thermal conductivity of
nanouids [7,3740,60]. Recently, many theoretical studies
have been carried out to predict the anomalously increased
thermal conductivity of nanouids. Several models have
been proposed to include various mechanisms. A detailed
summary of all classical and recently developed models
for the prediction of the eective thermal conductivity of
nanouids is provided in Table 3.
Yu and Choi [38,61] modied the Maxwell and Hamil-
tonCrosser models to account for the eect of the interfa-
cial layer. They replaced the thermal conductivity and
volume fraction of nanoparticles with the thermal conduc-
tivity and volume fraction of equivalent particles (i.e. par-
ticle with a nanolayer), respectively. The thermal
conductivity of an equivalent particle is considered to be
the same as the thermal conductivity of particle. This is
not realistic because the interfacial layer is formed by the
liquid molecules wrapping over the particle surface and
the concentration of these adsorbed molecules in the inter-
Table 3
Summary of models for the eective thermal conductivity of nanouids
Researchers Classical models/equations Remarks
Maxwell [1] k
eff
=k
f
kp2kf 2/kpkf
kp2kf /kpkf
Depends on the thermal conductivities of both phases and volume
fraction of solid
Hamilton and
Crosser (HC)
[58]
k
eff
=k
f
kpn1kf n1/kf kp
kpn1kf /kf kp
_ _
Valid for both the spherical and cylindrical particles and n = 3/w
where w is the particle sphericity
Bruggeman (Hui
et al. [59])
k
eff
1
4
3/ 1k
p
2 3/k
f
kf
4
D
p
where Valid for spherical particles and considered interaction between
particles D = [(3/ 1)
2
(k
p
/k
f
)
2
+ (2 3/)
2
+ 2(2 + 9/ 9/
2
)(k
p
/
k
f
)]
Wasp (Xuan and
Li [8])
k
eff
=k
f
kp2kf 2/kf kp
kp2kf /kf kp
Same as Maxwell model
Researchers Models/Expressions for nanouids Remarks
Wang et al. [17]
keff
kf
1/3/
_
1
0
k
cl
rnr
k
cl
r2k
f
dr
1/3/
_
1
0
k
f
nr
k
cl
r2k
f
dr
Based on eective medium approximation (EMA) and fractal theory
Xue [60] 9 1
v
k
_ _
keff kf
2keff kf
v
k
keff kc;x
keff B2;xkc;xkeff
4
keff kc;y
2keff 1B2;xkc;y keff
_ _
0 Based on the Maxwell theory and average polarization theory with
the interfacial shell eect
Yu and Choi
[38,61]
(1) k
eff
=k
f
kpe2kf 2/kpekf 1b
3
kpe2kf /kpkf 1b
3
Considered interfacial layer where (1) modied Maxwell model and
(2) modied HC model with n = 3w
a
(2) k
eff
=k
f
1
n/
eff
A
1/
eff
A
, where A
1
3
ja;b;c
kpj kf
kpj n1kf
Xuan et al. [62] k
eff
=k
f
kp2kf 2/kf kp
kp2kf /kf kp
/q
p
cp
2kf
KBT
3prcg
_
Second term of the equation has wrong units while rst term is the
Maxwell model
Kumar et al. [24] k
eff
=k
f
1 c
2KBT
pgd
2
p
/rf
kf 1/rp
Based on kinetic theory and Fouriers law
Jang and Choi [40] k
eff
=k
f
1 c
df
dp
k
f
/Re
2
dp
Pr Based on convection and conduction heat transport
Prasher et al. [63] k
eff
=k
f
1 A/Re
m
Pr
0:333
12a2/1a
12a/1a
where a
f
= 2R
b
k
f
/
d
p
Included the eect of convection near the particle and interfacial
resistance with unknown parameters A, m, R
b
Koo and
Kleinstreuer [64]
k
eff
=k
f
kMG
kf
1
kf
5 10
4
b/q
p
c
p
KBT
q
p
D
_
f T; / Assumed randomly moving nanoparticles with surrounding liquid
motion having unknown parameters of b and f
Xie et al. [65] k
eff
=k
f
1 3H/
2H
2
/
2
1H/
Considered the presence of a nanolayer
Gao and Zhou [66] 1 /
kf
keff
_ _
3A
kf B1
keff B1
_ _
3C1
kf B2
keff B2
_ _
3C2
Based on EMA and for spherical particles, it reduces to Bruggeman
model
Leong et al. [67] k
eff
kpklr /
p
klr2c
3
1
c
3
1kp2klr c
3
1
/
p
c
3
klrkf kf
c
3
1
kp2klr kpklr /
p
c
3
1
c
3
1
Considered interfacial layer as separate component and for spherical
shape particle
Murshed et al. [29] k
eff
kf 10:27/
4=3
p
kp
k
f
1
_ _ _ _
1
0:52/p
1/
1=3
p
kp
k
f
1
_ _
_ _
1/
4=3
p
kp
k
f
1
_ _
0:52
1/
1=3
p
0:27/
1=3
p
0:27
_ _
Based on homogeneous distribution of nanoparticles
Murshed et al. [35] k
eff
kpklr /
p
klrc
2
1
c
2
1kpklr c
2
1
/
p
c
2
klr kf kf
c
2
1
kpklrkpklr /
p
c
2
1
c
2
1
For cylindrically shaped particles in base uid
Notation: k is the thermal conductivity, d is the particle diameter, and / is the particle volume fraction. Subscripts e, p, f, l, and c, denote eective,
particle, base uid, layer, and cluster, respectively.
S.M.S. Murshed et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 28 (2008) 21092125 2119
facial layer is lower than that of the solid particle. Hence,
the interfacial layer thermal conductivity should be lower
than that of the solid particles but higher than that of the
liquid. Apart from the dimension and thermal conductivity
of nanolayer, the particle shape factor is also unknown in
their model [61].
Xue [60] proposed a model for calculating the eective
thermal conductivity of nanouids. His model is based
on the Maxwell theory and average polarization theory,
which includes the interfacial shell eect. In validating
Xues [60] model with the experimental data of Choi
et al. [19], two incorrect parameters (semi-axis and depolar-
ization factor) were used. By using the two corrected
parameters, Yu and Choi [61] later showed that Xues
model gave far higher values of thermal conductivity (e.g.
k
nf
= 32k
f
for 1 vol%) than those given in his paper [60].
Thus, the validity and accuracy of Xues model are yet to
be established.
Based on the fractal theory for the clustering and
polarization of nanoparticles, Wang et al. [17] modied
the Maxwell model. Their model, however, requires the
thermal conductivity of particle cluster and their radius
distribution to be determined numerically. In addition,
this model is yet to be validated with more experimental
results.
Xie et al. [65] deduced a model for the prediction of the
eective thermal conductivity of nanouids by considering
the impact of interfacial layer. However, similar to Yu and
Choi [38,61] and Xue [60] models, this empirical model has
to be tted with experimental data by adjusting two tting
parameters. This model also does not consider any
dynamic mechanism. By taking into account geometric
and physical anisotropy, Gao and Zhou [66] proposed a
dierential eective medium model based on the Brugg-
eman model. For spherical particles, their model reduces
to the Bruggeman model. By considering the uniformity
and geometrical structures (e.g. body centered cubic) of
homogenously dispersed nanoparticles in base uids, a
model was developed by Murshed et al. [29] for the eective
thermal conductivity of nanouids which shows a nonlin-
ear nature. However, for Al
2
O
3
/DIW-based nanouids,
this model yields much higher thermal conductivity values
than those of experimental data.
All the existing models can be categorized into two gen-
eral groups, which are
(i) static models which assume stationary nanoparticles
in the base uid in which the thermal transport prop-
erties are predicted by conduction-based models such
as those of Maxwell and HamiltonCrosser, and
(ii) dynamic models which are based on the premise that
nanoparticles have lateral, random motion in the
uid. The particle motion is believed to be responsi-
ble for energy transport directly through collision
between nanoparticles or indirectly through microliq-
uid convection that enhances the thermal energy
transfer.
Researchers in the rst group [17,34,35,38,40,60,
61,65,6770] used the concept of a liquid/solid interfacial
layer to develop models and to explain the anomalous
improvement of the thermal conductivity in nanouids.
Approaches adopted in these studies can be classied under
the static model category. Except for Leong et al.s [67]
model, most of these models were developed by directly
modifying the Maxwell model, HamiltonCrosser model,
or Bruggeman model through the particle volume fraction.
The layer dimension and properties are assumed to be
much higher in order to t the experimental data. Recently,
Sabbaghzadeh and Ebrahimi [69] presented a model for
cylindrically shaped particles by combining the approaches
of Jang and Choi [40], Ren et al. [70] and Xie et al. [65].
Their model takes into account the eect of the nanolayer
in exactly the same way as Ren et al. and Xie et al.
Other groups of researchers emphasized on the contri-
bution of dynamic part related to particle Brownian
motion. Although Wang et al. [7] and Keblinski et al.
[37] showed that the contribution of Brownian motion to
energy transport in nanouids is not signicant, other
researchers [62,24] held contrary views. Considering aggre-
gation and Brownian motion of nanoparticles, Xuan et al.,
[62] deduced a model for the eective thermal conductivity
of nanouids. However, their proposed model [Eq. (13) in
their paper] yields the wrong units. Kumar et al. [24] devel-
oped a model based on Fouriers law of diusion and
applied the kinetic theory to consider Brownian motion
of the nanoparticles. However, they postulated that the
mean-free path of a nanoparticle in uid is of the order
of 1 cm, which is physically unrealistic. Moreover, their
model predicts an inverse cubic dependency on the particle
diameter 1=d
3
p
as opposed to a simple inverse dependency
(1/d
p
).
Jang and Choi [40] postulated that Brownian motion
contributes to microconvection. They deduced a theoretical
model that accounts for the role of dynamic nanoparticles
in nanouids. Koo and Kleinstreuer [64] and Prasher et al.
[63] considered the importance of Brownian-motion-driven
convection in the uid, rather than its direct contribution
to the thermal conductivity of the particle motion itself.
The models proposed by these researchers include the con-
tribution of Brownian motion, and were derived from the
kinetic theory. It is noted that the kinetic theory is not
directly applicable to nanouids without making signicant
corrections. The arguments presented by Jang and Choi
[40] are neither consistent nor convincing. Macroscale con-
vection behavior was assumed at the nanoscale by invoking
macroscale correlations for ow around a solid sphere.
Since the mean-free path of liquid is independent of the
particle diameter, it can be found [from Eqs. (11) and
(12) in their paper] that their Reynolds number becomes
independent of particle size, which is not a justied conclu-
sion. The correlation for ow past a sphere, however,
assumes that the Reynolds number is linearly dependent
on the sphere diameter. In Prasher et al.s [63] model, the
2120 S.M.S. Murshed et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 28 (2008) 21092125
eective thermal conductivity of nanouids varies substan-
tially with unknown parameters (especially constant m),
which could only be determined by matching the experi-
mental data. Similar to Jang and Choi [40], the Reynolds
number dened in Prasher et al.s model also needs to be
justied.
Recently, Eapen et al. [71] dened a possible mechanism
of thermal transport in dilute nanouids. By calculating the
heat ux from a nonequilibrium molecular dynamics simu-
lation (NEMD) they showed that there are three modes,
which are (i) the kinetic, (ii) the potential, and (iii) the
collisions.
Most recently, an improved model was developed by
Leong et al. [72] to predict the eective thermal conductiv-
ity of nanouids containing spherically shaped nanoparti-
cles. Compared to existing models, their model shows
better agreement with experimental results. This was attrib-
uted to the inclusion of both static and dynamic mecha-
nisms such as particle size, nanolayer, particle movement,
particle surface chemistry and interaction potential.
7. Electrokinetic phenomena of nanouids
Electrochemical eects certainly inuence the thermal
conductivity of nanouids through stability and particle
interactions. For example, the electrostatic repulsive force,
which is described by the zeta potential, is important to
avoiding agglomeration and thus sedimentation of nano-
particles. Although some review articles [39,73] pro-
nounced that the surface chemistry of nanoparticles could
be an important factor inuencing the thermal conductivity
of nanouids, there are very few reported studies which
investigate its eect on the enhanced thermal conductivity
of nanouids. Xie et al. [74] showed that simple acid treat-
ment of carbon nanotubes enhanced the suspension stabil-
ity of carbon nanotubes in water. It was attributed to
hydrophobic-to-hydrophilic conversion of the surface nat-
ure due to the generation of a hydroxyl group. Patel et al.
[23] reported that 4 nm gold nanoparticles with a coating of
a covalent chain in toluene were about 50 times less eec-
tive for heat transport than uncoated 1020 nm gold parti-
cles in water. This is contrary to the ndings of the
nanoparticle size eect on the eective thermal conductivity
of nanouids [24,40].
Lee et al. [75] investigated the eect of zeta potential and
particle hydrodynamic size (i.e. the mobility equivalent size)
on the thermal conductivity of nanouids. The hydrody-
namic diameter of CuO nanoparticles and thermal conduc-
tivity of the nanouids at dierent pHvalues were measured
in their study. Their results demonstrated that the pH value
aects the thermal performance of the nanouids. As the
solution pH value departs from the iso-electric point of par-
ticles, the colloidal particles become more stable and even-
tually alter the thermal conductivity of the uid. They
identied that the surface charge state is primarily responsi-
ble for the enhancement of thermal conductivity of the
nanouids. However, no further research was reported.
Prasher et al. [76] studied the eect of aggregation on the
eective thermal conductivity of nanouids. They claimed
that the observed thermal conductivity of nanouids can
be explained by the aggregation kinetics. It was also
reported that the colloidal chemistry plays a signicant role
in deciding the thermal conductivity of nanouids.
8. Convective heat transfer studies of nanouids
Compared to the reported research on thermal conduc-
tivity, investigations on convective heat transfer of nano-
uids are scarce. A summary of previous studies on forced
convection heat transfer of nanouids is given in Table 4.
Pak and Cho [49] performed experiments on convective
heat transfer of two types of nanouids i.e. c-Al
2
O
3
and
TiO
2
dispersed in water, under turbulent ow conditions.
Even though the Nusselt number (Nu) was found to
increase with the particle volume fraction and the Reynolds
number, the heat transfer coecient (h) actually decreased
by 312%. On the other hand, Eastman et al. [81] showed
that with less than 1 vol% of CuO nanoparticles, the con-
vective heat transfer coecient of water under dynamic
ow conditions was increased more than 15%.
The experimental results of Xuan and Li [22] illustrated
that the convective heat transfer coecient of Cu/water-
Table 4
Summary of forced convection heat transfer experimental studies of nanouids
Researchers Geometry/ow nature Nanouids Findings
Pak and Cho
[49]
Tube/turbulent Al
2
O
3
(13 nm), TiO
2
(27 nm)/water
At 3 vol%, the convective heat transfer coecient (h) was 12% smaller than
pure water for a given average uid velocity
Xuan and Li
[22]
Tube/turbulent Cu (<100 nm)/water A larger enhancement of h with volume fraction (/) and Reynolds number
(Re) was observed
Wen and
Ding [77]
Tube/laminar Al
2
O
3
(13 nm)/water Increased h with / and Reynolds number was observed
Ding et al.
[53]
Tube/laminar CNT/water At 0.5 wt.%, h increased by more than 350% at Re = 800
Heris et al.
[78]
Circular tube/laminar Al
2
O
3
(20 nm), CuO (50
60 nm)/water
h increase with / and Pe. Al
2
O
3
shows higher enhancement than that of CuO
Lai et al. [79] Tube/laminar Al
2
O
3
(20 nm)/DIW Nu increased 8% for / = 0.01 and Re = 270
Jung et al. [80] Rectangular
microchannel/laminar
Al
2
O
3
(20 nm)/water h increased 15% for / = 0.018
S.M.S. Murshed et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 28 (2008) 21092125 2121
based nanouids varied signicantly with the ow velocity
and the volumetric loading of particles. For example, for
2 vol% of Cu nanoparticles in water, the Nusselt number
increased by about 60% which is higher than that predicted
by the DittusBoelter [82] equation.
Wen and Ding [77] presented the convective heat transfer
characteristics of nanouids at the tube entrance region
under laminar ow conditions. The experiments were con-
ducted for 600 < Re < 2200. Their results illustrate that
the local heat transfer coecient varies with / and Re.
For example, for / = 0.016 and at x/D % 63, the local h
was 41% higher for Re = 1050, and 47% higher for
Re = 1600, compared with the results for pure water. The
enhancement was particularly signicant in the entrance
region and decreased with axial distance. The same research
group [53] later conducted convective heat transfer experi-
ments for CNT-based nanouids in laminar ow and con-
stant wall heat ux conditions. Surprisingly, the maximum
increase in the convective heat transfer coecient was more
than 350% at Re = 800 and at 0.5 weight % of CNT.
Heris et al. [78] investigated convective heat transfer of
CuO and Al
2
O
3
/water-based nanouids under laminar
ow conditions through an annular copper tube. In their
study, the heat transfer coecient was found to increase
with increasing particle volume fraction as well as Peclet
number. Al
2
O
3
/water-based nanouids showed higher
enhancement of heat transfer coecient compared to
CuO/water-based nanouids.
Lai et al. [79] studied Al
2
O
3
(20 nm)/DIW-based nano-
uids owing through 1 mm sized stainless steel test tube
and subjected to constant wall heat ux and low Reynolds
number (Re < 270). Compared to the base uid, the Nus-
selt number of this nanouid had a maximum enhancement
of 8% for 1 vol% nanoparticle at Re = 270.
Jung et al. [80] conducted convective heat transfer exper-
iments for Al
2
O
3
/water-based nanouid in a rectangular
microchannel (50 lm 50 lm) under laminar ow condi-
tions. The convective heat transfer coecient increased
by more than 32% for 1.8 vol% of nanoparticles in base u-
ids. The Nusselt number increases with increasing Rey-
nolds number in the laminar ow regime (5 < Re < 300).
Based on the results, they proposed a new convective heat
transfer correlation for nanouids in microchannels.
The above review shows that the results reported by var-
ious groups vary widely and most of the studies lack phys-
ical explanation for their observed results. Therefore,
further research on convective heat transfer of nanouids
is needed.
9. Computational studies on heat transport of nanouids
Xue et al. [83] were the rst to use molecular dynamics
simulation (MDS) to identify the eect of liquid layering
at the liquidsolid interface on thermal transport in nano-
uids. Interestingly, their results demonstrate that layering
of the liquid atoms at the liquidsolid interface does not
have any signicant eect on the thermal properties of
nanouids. It is noted that their simulations were per-
formed for the specic model system consisting of simple
mono-atomic liquid. Thus their nding may not apply to
complex uids. In fact, there is no reported study which
conrmed their conclusion.
Bhattacharya et al. [84] developed a technique to com-
pute the eective thermal conductivity of a nanouid
using the Brownian dynamics simulation. By comparing
the results of their simulations with available experimental
data, they showed that their technique predicts the ther-
mal conductivity of nanouids to a good level of accu-
racy. No other research group has reported any work
using the same computational technique although Bhat-
tacharya et al. claimed it is less expensive than MDS.
Xuan et al. [85] proposed a Lattice Boltzmann model
for simulating ow and energy transport processes inside
nanouids. They considered the external and internal
forces acting on the suspended nanoparticles and interac-
tions among the nanoparticles and uid particles. The dis-
tributions of suspended nanoparticles inside nanouids
were also calculated. Based on the simulation results, they
inferred that the uctuation of Nusselt number of nano-
uids along the main ow direction is due to the unstable
distribution of nanoparticles. No further development is
made in exploring the use of the Lattice Boltzmann
method to explain the anomalous thermal conductivity
of nanouids.
Several preliminary numerical studies on the convective
heat transport of nanouids were conducted by a research
group led by Nguyen and co-workers [8789]. They showed
that nanouids can considerably enhance heat removal in
both tube ow [87] and radial ow between two disks
[87,88]. The hydrodynamic and thermal elds of Al
2
O
3
/
water-based nanouids in a radial laminar ow system
were numerically studied by Roy et al. [86]. Their results
showed a twofold increase in heat transfer for 10 vol% of
nanoparticles in water. They also observed that the wall
shear stress increased with an increase in particle volume
fraction. For Al
2
O
3
/water/ethylene glycol-based nano-
uids, numerical results of Ma ga et al. [87] showed that
the heat transfer coecient increases with an increase of
the particle concentration. However, the presence of such
particles has also induced drastic eects on the wall shear
stress that increases appreciably with the particle loading.
Palm et al. [88] performed numerical investigation for
the laminar forced convection ow of nanouids with tem-
perature-dependent properties. They found that Al
2
O
3
/
water-based nanouids with a volume fraction of 4% can
produce a 25% increase in the average wall heat transfer
coecient compared to water alone. Signicant dierences
were also found when using constant property nanouids
(temperature independent) versus nanouids with tempera-
ture-dependent properties. The use of temperature-depen-
dent properties resulted in larger heat transfer predictions
with corresponding decrease in wall shear stresses when
compared to predictions using constant properties nano-
uids. With an increase in wall heat ux, Palm et al. found
2122 S.M.S. Murshed et al. / Applied Thermal Engineering 28 (2008) 21092125
that the average heat transfer coecient increases whilst
the wall shear stress decreases.
Based on Khanafer et al.s [89] model and taking into
account particle dispersion, Jou and Tzeng [90] numerically
investigated heat transfer performance of nanouids inside
two dimensional rectangular enclosures. Their results dem-
onstrate that increasing volume fraction and buoyancy
parameter can cause an increase in average heat transfer
coecient.
10. Summary and future work
From the above review, it can be summarized that
nanouids exhibit enhanced thermal conductivity, which
increases with increasing volumetric loading of nanoparti-
cles. Review of experimental studies clearly showed a lack
of consistency in the reported results of various research
groups. The eects of several important factors such as
particle size and shapes, clustering of particles, tempera-
ture of the uid, and dissociation of surfactant on the
eective thermal conductivity of nanouids were not
investigated adequately. It is imperative to conduct more
investigations in order to conrm the eects of these fac-
tors on the thermal conductivity of wide range of
nanouids.
It is implicitly found that existing classical models can-
not explain the observed enhanced thermal conductivity
of nanouids. However, most of the recently developed
models only include one or two postulated mechanisms
of nanouids heat transfer. Moreover, these models were
not validated with a wide range of experimental data.
There is, therefore a need to develop more comprehensive
models, which are based on the rst principle, and can
explicitly explain the enhanced thermal conductivity of
nanouids. Particles size, particle dispersions and cluster-
ing should be taken into account in the model development
for nanouids.
Although thermal diusivity is important, very little
work has been reported on the determination of the eec-
tive thermal diusivity of nanouids. No model is available
to precisely predict the eective thermal diusivity of nano-
uids. The existing classical models are also found to be
unable to predict the viscosity of nanouids. Therefore,
analytical studies on the development of theoretical models
for the thermal diusivity and viscosity of nanouids are
highly desirable. In addition, studies on characterization
of viscosity, electrokinetic properties and convective heat
transfer of nanouids are rather scarce.
Although a signicant number of studies have been
performed on the heat transfer characteristics of nano-
uids, there has been very little agreement in the data
from dierent research groups. Hence, proper sample
preparation and repeatable and more systematic experi-
mental studies on thermophysical properties, particularly
thermal conductivity, thermal diusivity, convective heat
transfer coecients and viscosity of nanouids are
worthwhile.
Research eorts which are focused on the application of
nanouids in advanced cooling techniques for more e-
cient cooling of electronics and microelectromechanical
systems (MEMS), and investigations on spray cooling
and microchannel ow of nanouids will also be of great
interest.
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