Engineering Application Update: Silicon Nanoparticles - Enhancement of Specific Heat of Molten Salt/Nanofluid
14 Mar 2018
Our engineering and scientific staff are ready to help you use nanomaterials to improve your products today! Here is yet another example in the academic literature, using silicon nanoparticles in thermal fluids.
One of the Meliorum Technologies silicon nanoparticle and metal oxide nanoparticle applications having shown consistently successful results in the academic literature is the incorporation of these nanomaterials in molten salt eutectic solutions. These molten salt eutectic solutions are used for many purposes; many of the applications leverage their high levels of specific heat capacity (i.e. the amount of energy needed to increase the temperature of a fixed mass or volume of the fluid). Recently, solar thermal energy conversion systems, for example, require the storage of thermal energy at high temperatures, to improve the efficiency of the system, and thereby reducing cost of operation.
Over the years, researchers have shown that the use of small nanoparticles – generally 50 nm, and more likely, 10 nm or less in diameter – tend to also have high specific surface energies. It has been hypothesized that these high surface energies directly factor into the enhancement of specific heat capacity of these silicon nanoparticle and other metal oxide nanoparticle-based nanofluids.
Researchers at numerous academic research labs have used Meliorum's silicon nanoparticles, metal oxide nanoparticles, and others, to enhance the nanofluid specific heat by as much as 20 %, thereby drastically affecting the performance of the material, when a high degree of resistance to heat transfer is required. The researchers found that not only do the nanoparticles themselves result in a beneficial increase in specific heat, but in particular, the solution stability and lack of agglomeration of Meliorum’s dispersion of silicon nanoparticles (confirmed by SEM and TEM) are one of the main reasons for this improvement in thermal properties. A solution concentration as low as 1 percent by weight is sufficient to effect an improvement in the molten salt nanofluid properties, and the nanoparticles exhibited minimal clustering and agglomeration, even after thermal cycling to temperatures in excess of 450°C.
An abstract of one of the original reference articles is linked here:
Shin D, Banerjee D. Enhanced Specific Heat of Silica Nanofluid. ASME. J. Heat Transfer. 2010;133(2):024501-024501-4
In all likelihood, YOUR industrial or research application has the potential to benefit from the incorporation of our nanomaterial/nanoparticle based additives – for help, please contact one of our engineers or scientists today!