The Role of the Interactions at the Tungsten Disulphide Surface in the Stability and Enhanced Thermal Properties of Nanofluids with Application in Solar Thermal Energy
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Author/sMartínez-Merino, Paloma; Sánchez-Coronilla, Antonio; Alcántara Puerto, Rodrigo; Martín, Elisa I.; Carrillo Berdugo, Iván; Gómez Villarejo, Roberto; Navas Pineda, Francisco Javier
SourceNanomaterials 2020, 10(5), 970
Transition metal dichalcogenides (TMCs) exhibit unique properties that make them of interest for catalysis, sensing or energy storage applications. However, few studies have been performed into nanofluids based on TMCs for heat transfer applications. In this study, nanofluids based on 2D-WS2 are prepared by liquid phase exfoliation to analyze their potential usage in concentrating solar power plants. Periodic-Density Functional Theory (DFT) calculations were performed to rationalize the success of the exfoliation process. The hydrogen bond interaction between the hydroxyl group from PEG, which acts as a surfactant, and the S atoms of the WS2 surface stabilizes the nanosheets in the fluid. Electron localization function (ELF) analysis is indicative of the stability of the S-H interaction from WS2 with the molecules of surfactant due to the tendency to interact through weak intermolecular forces of van der Waals solids. Moreover, improvements in thermal properties were also found. Isobaric specific heat increased by up to 10% and thermal conductivity improved by up to 37.3%. The high stability of the nanofluids and the thermal improvements were associated with the high surface area of WS2 nanosheets. These results suggest that these nanofluids could be a promising heat transfer fluid in concentrating solar power plants.