Nanofluids in confined geometries: understanding and controlling the behaviour

Lead Research Organisation: University of Leeds
Department Name: Inst of Particle Science & Engineering

Abstract

This research will further our fundamental understanding of the structural behaviour of nanofluids in confined geometries. A combination of the state-of-the-art devices including a high resolution near field microscope, a total internal reflection microscope (TIRM), an optical reflectometry and an atomic force microscope (AFM) will be used to observe directly nanoparticle structuring in the confined geometries and nanoparticle deposition on the confining walls, and to measure the structural force arising from the confinement-induced nanoparticle structuring. The recently developed Combined Continuous, Discrete and Statistic mechanics (CCDS) method will be employed to model the nanoparticle structuring. The ultimate aim is to establish a relationship between the structural behaviour of the confined nanofluids and the physical and chemical properties of the solution, the suspending nanoparticles, and the confining walls, thus enabling industry to formulate nanofluids based products and to predict how the material properties and solution chemistry impact on the performance of the products.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description We discovered i) nano-fluids containing non-spherical inorganic nano-particles confined in the wedge region between a substrate and a micro-particle adhered on the substrate also produced a structural force vertical to the surface; and ii) the structural force is normally insufficient for removing the particles from the surface, but upon shearing of the fluidthe structural force plays a significant role in removing the surface particle.
Based on such discoveries, nano-fluid based surface cleaning agents were formulated and lab scale tests were very successful. However, formulations from large scale manufacture did not perform as expected. This opens two new research questions -
(a) Why the scale-up affects the properties and behaviour of the nano-fluids formulation?
(b) Can we turn the liquid based nano-fluids formulation into dry particulate form that can re-disperse in liquid at the user end to reduce transportation costs?
These questions led to subsequent sustained collaborations with Procter & Gamble until today (2016).
Exploitation Route The project has a strategic industrial sponsor, Procter and Gamble (P&G), so a clear route was identified at the beginning of the project that commercialisation of the research findings is taken forward by P&G.
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Education,Energy,Environment

 
Description The findings led to a patent 'Cleaning Method' filed (WO/2007/109239; US20090090387). The project has also led to a long-term collaborative relationship with P&G with sustained support in various forms until today (2016). So far six of my PhD students have been supported by them, of which, two are now employed by P&G. Through the relationship, P&G has also offered both research and design projects for our final year MEng students in chemical engineering. Their inputs in the design projects are particularly important due to their significant industrial experience that hard to obtain in the class room.
Sector Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Chemicals,Energy,Environment
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Abengoa Solar
Amount £200,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Leeds-IPSE483360 
Organisation Abengoa 
Department Abengoa Solar
Sector Private
Country Spain
Start 01/2012 
End 12/2014
 
Description Abengoa Solar NT
Amount £22,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Abengoa - TOK - Leeds 
Organisation Abengoa 
Department Abengoa Solar
Sector Private
Country Spain
Start 05/2010 
End 05/2011
 
Description EPSRC Programme Grant
Amount £4,227,886 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P00945X/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2016 
End 11/2021
 
Description Energy Stoage Grand Challenge
Amount £924,591 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P003435/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 09/2019
 
Description Procter & Gamble
Amount £36,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Structured Particles 
Organisation Procter & Gamble 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 10/2010 
End 09/2013
 
Description Reduce of End Use Energy Demand
Amount £1,573,522 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P004709/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 12/2016 
End 12/2020
 
Description Studentship
Amount £10,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Crystallisation 2011 
Organisation Procter & Gamble 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 08/2011 
End 07/2012
 
Description Studentship
Amount £36,000 (GBP)
Funding ID Structured Particles 
Organisation Procter & Gamble 
Sector Private
Country United States
Start 10/2010 
End 09/2013
 
Description n-COSH
Amount £924,591 (GBP)
Funding ID EP/P003435/1 
Organisation Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2016 
End 10/2019