Thermophysical properties of graphene-based nanofluids

Khaled Elsaid*, Mohammad Ali Abdelkareem, Hussein M. Maghrabie, Enas Taha Sayed, Tabbi Wilberforce, Ahmad Baroutaji, A. G. Olabi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Heat transfer operations are very common in the process industry to transfer a huge amount of thermal energy, i.e., heat, from one fluid to another for different purposes. Many fluids are used as heat transfer fluid (HTF), in which water is the most common HTF due to its high specific heat, availability, and affordability. However, conventional HTFs, including water, have a lower thermal conductivity, which is the most critical thermophysical property, hence decreased heat transfer efficiency. The addition of solid particles of highly thermally conductive material, specifically at nano-size, i.e., nanoparticles NPs, result in nanofluid NF, which has evolved over the last two decades as efficient HTF and have been investigated in a wide range of applications. Among NPs, graphene (Gr) based materials have shown very high potential as NF due to the very high thermal conductivity up to 5,000 W/m.K, hence higher thermal conductivity NF. This work aims to thoroughly discuss the thermophysical properties of Gr-based NFs, including thermal conductivity, heat capacity, density, and viscosity. The discussion focus on the thermophysical properties as it is the ultimate determinator of the heat transfer characteristics of the HTF, such as the convective and the overall heat transfer coefficient as well as the heat transfer capacity of the NF. The discussion expands to the relative enhancement in such thermophysical properties reaching up to a 40% increase in thermal conductivity, as the most critical thermophysical property. The discussion shows that Gr-based NF has a much higher thermal conductivity relative to widely studied metal oxide NF and at much lower content, and lower density and viscosity increase, which is critical for determining the pumping power requirements. Critical challenges facing the application of Gr-based NFs such as cost, stability, increased density and viscosity, and environmental impacts are thoroughly discussed with mitigation recommendations given.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100073
JournalInternational Journal of Thermofluids
Early online date26 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021

Bibliographical note

© 2021 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND


  • Graphene
  • Heat transfer fluid
  • Nanofluids
  • Thermophysical properties


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