Effects of pH on heat transfer nanofluids containing ZrO2 and TiO2 nanoparticles
ABSTRACT In this paper, p H influences of zeta potential, particle size distribution, rheology, viscosity, and stability on heat transfer nanofluids are studied. Significant enhancement of thermal conductivity (TC) (>20 % ) containing 3 wt % zirconium dioxide ( ZrO 2) and titanium dioxide ( TiO 2) are observed near the isoelectric point (IEP). Meanwhile, at this IEP (p H ) , particle sizes, and viscosities of these nanofluids demonstrate a significant increase to maximum values. Experimental results also indicate that the stabilities of these nanofluids are influenced by p H values. The reasonable explanation for these interesting phenomena is that at this IEP, the repulsive forces among metal oxides are zero and nanoparticles coagulate together at this p H value. According to the Derjaguin–Landau–Verwey–Overbeek theory, when the p H is equal to or close to the IEP, nanoparticles tend to be unstable, form clusters, and precipitate. The resulting big clusters will trap water and the structures of trapped water are varied due to the strong atomic force among nanoparticles. Water is packed well inside and volume fraction of the nanoparticles will be larger. In addition, shapes of clusters containing trapped water will not be spherical but rather has irregular structure (like chains). Such structure favors thermal transport because they provide a long link. Therefore, overall TC of nanofluids is enhanced. Some literature results and conclusions related to p H effects of nanofluids are discussed and analyzed. Understanding p H effects may enable exploration of fundamental nature of nanofluids.