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Powder Technology 352 (2019) 369–380

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Powder Technology

journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/powtec

An experimental study on heat transfer performance and pressure drop

of nanofluids using graphene and multi-walled carbon nanotubes based
on diesel oil
Atiyeh Naddaf a, Saeed Zeinali Heris a,b,⁎, Babak Pouladi a,c
Department of Chemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran
Faculty of chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran
R&D member of South Pars Gas Company (SPGC), Busher, Iran

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: The present study deals with the investigation of the heat transfer performance of nanofluids using diesel oil as
Received 29 December 2018 base fluid and multi-walled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) and graphene nanoplatelets (GNP) as nanoparticles
Received in revised form 18 February 2019 with different concentrations and flow rates. These nanoparticles have been functionalized covalently with
Accepted 28 April 2019
hexylamine (HA) and non-covalently with oleic acid (OA) to prepare nanofluids to include OA-MWCNT,
Available online 30 April 2019
HA-MWCNT, OA-GNP.HA-GNP and OA-MWCNT/GNP (1–1 Hybrid of each of nanoparticles) at 5 weight percent-
ages include 0.05–0.5 wt%. An experimental setup designed and constructed and heat transfer performance of the
Heat transfer enhancement above-mentioned nanofluids are investigated under laminar flow conditions at 4 flow rates. In order to utilize
Nanofluid nanofluids in practical applications, the main purpose of this study is focused on investigating if the addition of
Graphene nanoparticles can enhance the heat transfer performance of diesel oil.
Multi-walled carbon nanotubes In addition, the pressure drop and performance index of nanofluids measured in a closed loop. The results
Diesel oil revealed that heat transfer properties of nanofluids improved compared to the base oil. Also according to the
Pressure drop results, by increasing the velocity of nanofluid, the convective heat transfer coefficient increases at all weight
coefficient of nanoparticles and an increase in pressure drop for nanofluids than pure oil is not perceptible. The
performance index of nanofluids, except for the two cases that are related to the hybrid of MWCNT and GNP,
in other cases is more than one. Therefore, using nanofluids leads to an increase in the heat transfer coefficient
more than increasing the pressure drop, and are suitable for use in the industrial units.
© 2019 Published by Elsevier B.V.

1. Introduction nanofluid in terms of heat transfer performance. Also, the results re-
vealed that by adding hybrid nanoparticles to the thermal oil,
Fluids are usually used as heat carriers in heat transfer instruments. thermophysical and heat transfer properties have been improved.
A decade ago, a new kind of heat transfer fluid which was derived from Several studies, heat transfer performance of oil-based nanofluids by
stably suspending nanoparticles in conventional heat transfer fluids using various hybrid nanoparticles has been investigated [6–8]. The re-
usually liquids, was introduced and called nanofluid. sults proved that nanofluids are highly efficient in heat transfer proper-
Heris et al. [1] and Hwang et al. [2] experimentally investigated the ties. Also, the thermophysical properties of nanofluids improved
heat transfer behavior of Al2O3–water nanofluid inside a circular tube compare with base oil. Esfe et al. [9,10] proposed three variable models
under the laminar flow regime. The heat transfer in nanofluid can be to investigate the effective parameters on the viscosity of oil-based
compared to that of base fluid at the same Reynolds number, the same nanofluids by using two hybrid nanoparticles include MWCNTs (10%)
flow velocity, and the same pumping power [3]. Sanukrishna et al. [4] –Al2O3 (90%)/10 W40 nanofluid and MWCNTs-ZnO/5 W50 nanofluid.
proved that polyalkylene glycol suspended with Al2O3 nanofluid can They introduced temperature as the most effective parameter on viscos-
be a good alternative for refrigerant compressor oil because thermal ity. Moreover, two new correlations have been developed to assess the
and rheological properties of nano lubricant in compare with base oil effects of different temperatures and concentrations of nanoparticles on
enhanced. A guideline suggested by Asadi [5] to select the best dynamic viscosity of nanofluids and evaluated how Temperature and
Concentration Influence on Viscosity of nanofluids [11,12].
⁎ Corresponding author at: Faculty of chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University
Sivakumar et al. [13] investigated the heat transfer coefficient for
of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran. Al2O3/water and CuO/Ethylene glycol nanofluids at different tempera-
E-mail address: s.zeinali@tabrizu.ac.ir (S. Zeinali Heris). tures and concentrations of nanoparticles. The results showed an

0032-5910/© 2019 Published by Elsevier B.V.
370 A. Naddaf et al. / Powder Technology 352 (2019) 369–380

analyzed the friction factor and nusselt number. Miroshnichenko et al.

[24] studied the natural convection of alumina/water nanofluid in an
open cavity is studied. Their results showed the increase in heat transfer
Symbol Description (unit)
with nanoparticles concentration. Nabil et al. [25] investigated the heat
Re Reynolds number (−)
transfer performance of TiO2-SiO2 nanofluids under turbulent flow at
Cp specific heat capacity (J/kg K)
different temperature and concentration. The TiO2-SiO2 nanofluids
Nu Nusselt number (−)
had better performance in comparison with based fluids. Saeed et al.
Pr Prandtl number (−)
[26] used nanofluids for studying the Heat transfer enhancement at
ṁ mass flow rate (kg/s)
electronic cooling applications and compared the experimental results
Q volume flow rate (ml/s)
with single-phase and two-phase numerical models. Heris et al. [27]
h convective heat transfer coefficient (W/m2 K)
studied the heat transfer properties of three types of nanoparticles in-
f friction factor (−)
clude TiO2, Al2O3, CuO in turbine oil as base fluid inside a cubic cavity
K thermal conductivity (W/m K)
at three inclination angles. They found that the turbine oil has a higher
T temperature (K)
Nusselt number than any type of nanofluids at any inclination. Mahian
D diameter (m)
et al. [28] studied natural convection of nanofluids in square and trian-
ρ density (kg/m3)
gular enclosures. They revealed that Heat transfer coefficient ratio is
q̇ heat flux (W)
maximized at low concentrations. Ettefaghi et al. [29] studied on ther-
υ velocity (m/s)
mal properties of engine oil based nanofluid as a lubricant. They dis-
Δp pressure drop (Pa)
persed multi-walled carbon nanotubes inside SAE 20W50 engine
μ viscosity (Pa.s)
oil. The results showed that the properties of nanofluid containing
X distance (m)
0.1 wt% concentration of MWCNT, improved in comparison with base
ẋ Non-dimensional distance in the streamwise direction
engine oil. Hasan [30] chose transformer oil to study on its cooling
= (2×/D)/Re Pr
performance by adding Cu, Al2O3, TiO2, and SiC to the base oil as nano-
particles. Obtained results showed that the transformer oil-based
nanofluid improved the cooling properties of base oil as cooling me-
dium. Farzin et al. [31] used TiO2 nanoparticle as an additive to improve
increase in the convective heat transfer coefficient of the nanofluids in the heat transfer properties of turbine oil. Results indicated that both
comparison with the base fluid. Also forced convective heat transfer co- pressure drop and heat transfer coefficient of turbine oil increased by
efficient increased with the increase in nanoparticle concentration. adding nanoparticles. Also, performance indices of nanofluid at all
Raygoza et al. [14] developed nano lubricants based on functionalized volume concentrations were greater than one. Amiri et al. [32] investi-
multilayer graphene for an automotive engine. They used engine oil as gated the convective heat transfer coefficient of turbine oil-based
a base fluid and showed synthesized nanofluids have a better perfor- nanofluids through a laminar flow inside a circular tube. Functionalized
mance than base fluid as a lubricant. Asadi et al. [15] evaluated the multiwalled carbon nanotubes were used as nano additive and at vari-
heat transfer performance of two engine-oil based nanofluids contain- ous volume concentrations, thermal properties of turbine oil studied.
ing ZnO and MgO nanoparticles. The results revealed that in laminar Because of the significant enhancement of the heat transfer coefficient,
flow regimes, MgO-engine oil nanofluid is advantageous. Salimi-Yasar they introduced mentioned nanofluids as an excellent alternative for
et al. [16] investigated experimentally the thermal properties of cutting turbine oil. Thermal properties of cutting fluid investigated by salami-
oil-based nanofluid included TiO2. Their results showed that nanoparti- yasar et al. [16]. They used TiO2 as nanoparticles and provided TiO2 oil
cles improved heat transfer properties of cutting fluid. Ebrahimnian based nanofluid as an alternative for cutting oil. The results revealed
et al. [17] investigated the convective heat transfer of water/TiO2 that nanoparticles improved heat transfer properties of cutting fluid.
nanofluid through a heated tube. The heat transfer coefficient of Stability and convective heat transfer coefficient of a lubricant oil
nanofluid has been increased by 21% related to the base fluid. Pirhayati under laminar flow investigated by karamallah et al. [33]. The results
et al. [18] studied CuO-base oil nanofluid heat transfer coefficient at dif- of this study indicated an improvement of heat transfer coefficient for
ferent weight fractions of 0.5%, 1% and 2% inside a horizontal copper synthesized oil-based nanofluid. Some researches focused on the use
tube under uniform heat flux condition. According to the results, by in- of various oils as base fluid are listed in Table 1.
creasing the velocity of nanofluids, the convective heat transfer coeffi- In the present work, two types of carbon nanoparticles (MWCNT
cient increased at all weight concentrations of nanoparticles. Godson and GNP) and a one-to-one hybrid of mentioned nanoparticles have
et al. [19] studied the pressure drop and heat transfer coefficient of been used to add to the diesel oil, which is rarely used as the base oil.
silver-water nanofluids in a counter flow heat exchanger. Experimental Diesel oil thermal conductivity and heat transfer are important param-
results showed that the pressure drop increased up to 55% and the heat eters for engine cooling system design and are a function of tempera-
transfer coefficient increased up to 69% at the volume concentration of ture. Oils with a larger thermal conductivity value will transfer heat
0.9% compared with that of pure water. Almohammadi et al. [20] inves- energy more efficiently.
tigated the effect of different volume concentrations on friction factor Non-covalent and covalent functionalized MWCNT and GNP synthe-
and convective heat transfer coefficient of Al2O3/water nanofluid with sized and added to the base oil at different weight percentages. After
0.5% and 1% volume concentrations. The results emphasize that the av- evaluating the stability of provided suspensions, the variation of heat
erage ratio of (fnf/fbf) was about 1.1 at 0.5% volume concentration. Also transfer coefficient and pressure drop of nanofluids examined through
the convective heat transfer coefficient increased by increasing particle a circular tube under a laminar flow. Also, performance indices of all
volume concentration. Teng et al. [21] focused on the pressure drop of types of nanofluids measured and capabilities of nanofluids as an alter-
TiO2/water nanofluid at different weight fractions and temperatures. native for pure diesel oil evaluated.
The results revealed that an increase in pressure drop for a nanofluid
is lower under turbulent flow in a circular pipe than laminar flow. 2. Preparation of nanofluids
Alkasmoul et al. [22] examined experimentally Heat transfer with
common nanofluids for turbulent flow. Their results showed at any In this study, graphene and multi-walled carbon nanotubes are used
flow rate, base fluid alone performs better than all nanofluids. to add to diesel oil as base fluid to prepare nanofluids and a new method
Humminic et al. [23] presented the results of numerical and experimen- used for functionalization of nanoparticles. [41,42]. The above-
tal studies in various heat exchangers for hybrid nanofluids and mentioned nanoparticles functionalized covalently with hexylamine
A. Naddaf et al. / Powder Technology 352 (2019) 369–380 371

Table 1
Summary of a recent study in the field of oil-based nanofluid.

Reference Basefluid Nanoparticles Characteristics Parameters

[11] Engine oil MWCNT/ZnO Dynamic viscosity Temperature concentration

[34] Transformer oil Hybrid of silica-silver Rheological, thermal, and dielectric properties Temperature concentration
[35] Transformer oil TiO2 Ione mobility Electric field temperature
[36] Transformet oil Al2O3, TiO2, SiO2 Heat transfer coefficient Concentration
[37] Transformer oil Nanodiamond Thermal conductivitT Temperature concentration
[38] Engine oil Graphene Friction Concentration
Pressure drop
[33] Lubricant oil Al2O3 Stability Size concentration
Heat transfer
[39] Thermal oil SWCNT Stability Temperature concentration
Thermophysical properties
[40] Seed oil MWCNT Viscosity Temperature ultrasonication time
Thermal conductivity
Rheological behavior
[15] Engine oil ZnO.MgO Thermophysical properties heat transfer Temperature concentration
[39] Thermal oil MWCNT Stability thermophysical properties Temperature concentration
[6] Thermal oil MgO-MWCNT hybrid Heat transfer performance pumping power Temperature concentration

(HA) and non-covalently with oleic acid (OA) as a surfactant. Pristine nanoparticles to form aggregates/agglomeration in the liquid media
MWCNT and GNP were sonicated with HA in desired amounts sepa- resulting in not only the clogging of microchannels but also degradation
rately. to ensure the stability during the functionalization process, an ul- of nanofluids thermal properties. Therefore, the study of the stability of
trasonic probe (750 W, 20 kHz) was used to form a monotonous nanofluids including the key factors which influence the stability as well
suspension. To complete the diazonium reaction, H2SO4 was as the techniques which can be used for the evaluation of the stability of
used. After using the microwave and cooling the suspension, by nanofluids is necessary. So to ensure the stability of provided
filtering, washing and drying the resulting products, the covalent nanofluids, Ultraviolet-visible (UV–vis) spectrophotometry was used.
functionalization process finished [41,42]. Characterization of synthe- Using the results obtained from the UV–vis spectrophotometry, the col-
sized samples performed by fourier transform infrared spectroscopy loidal stability of the two suspensions (as two examples) has been plot-
and Raman spectroscopy. Also, high-resolution transmission electron ted as a function of time at different weight concentrations (Fig. 1).
microscopy (HRTEM) was used to utilize the morphology of samples Regarding the graphs, it is clear that the reduction in the concentration
[41,42]. Then by a two-step method, nanofluids prepared. At first step, of the suspensions at different concentrations of nanocarbon materials
diesel oil and nanoparticles at 5 weight percentages including 0.05, over time has decreased very slightly. Based on the results, the sedimen-
0.1, 0.2 and 0.5 wt% (0.5. 1, 2 and 5 g in 1 kg of nanofluid) mixed by a tation rate in both nanofluid samples at different concentrations is b3%,
High shear mixer (330 W, 18000 rpm) for 30 min at 5000 rpm. Then which indicates an excellent colloid stability for nanofluids over time.
in order to make sure stabilization of suspensions, ultrasound bath
(Ultrasonic Power: 200 W Maxx) used for 1 h to avoid settling of nano- 2.2. Experimental setup
particles. In addition, pure diesel oil, five types of nanofluids include OA-
MWCNT, HA-MWCNT, OA-GNP, HA-GNP and OA-MWCNT/GNP (1–1 A closed-loop system was used to perform forced convective exper-
Hybrid of OA- MWCNT and OA-GNP) were tested to measure their ther- iments in laminar flow. The test section has an entrance region in order
mal properties. to make the flow hydrodynamically developed. The section includes a
straight pipe and three heat elements located around the test section
2.1. Stability of nanofluids to run the experiments under constant heat flux by the aid of a DC
power supply. In addition, 5 thermocouples were mounted on the test
Stability is one of the key features for any nanofluid system in each section at axial positions of 20,40, 60,80 and 100 cm from the inlet of
application, especially heat transfer. There is a strong tendency of the section to measure surface or wall temperature distribution.

Fig. 1. Stability of nanofluids based on nanoparticle concentrations change versus time a) OA-MWCNT, b) OA-GNP.
372 A. Naddaf et al. / Powder Technology 352 (2019) 369–380

Additionally, two thermocouples were mounted at the inlet and outlet

to measure the bulk temperature of the flowing medium at inlet and
outlet, respectively. Furthermore, the experimental setup includes a
gear pump to circulate the fluid in setup. A flow-meter used to record
the flow rate. The flow rates adjusted as 18.75, 50, 33.33 ml/s such
that the flow conditions are always laminar. A heat exchanger to cool
down the working fluid and adjust the temperature at the inlet of the
test section was used. The test section was insulated to prevent loss of
heat to the surroundings. The pressure drop over the test section was
measured by a manometer containing mercury based on density differ-
ent between fluids and mercury and data such as temperatures, pres-
sure difference and flow rates were collected. For each steady state
condition, the data was recorded every 3 s for about 5 min and averaged.
Figs. 2 and 3 show the schematic diagram and real picture of the exper-
imental setup respectively.
The study of heat transfer coefficient enhancement obtained with
nanofluids have been done in the constant wall heat flux boundary con-
dition. For this condition, results are usually presented in terms of the
variation of the local heat transfer coefficient in the axial direction and
Fig. 3. Schematic of the laboratory system designed to measure the heat transfer
average heat transfer coefficient. coefficient and pressure drop.

2.3. Data reduction

The convective heat transfer coefficient at an axial distance ‘x’ from

the inlet is defined as equation1: Where q”, Tm(x) and Ts(x) are heat flux applied to the fluid, fluid
buthe lk temperature at a distance ‘x’ from the inlet and surface or
wall temperature at a distance ‘x’ from the inlet respectively. From the
q} energy balance equation, assuming linear variation, the bulk
hðxÞ ¼ ð1Þ
T s ðxÞ−T m ðxÞ

Fig. 2. Schematic of the laboratory system designed to measure the heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop.
A. Naddaf et al. / Powder Technology 352 (2019) 369–380 373

temperature of the fluid at an axial distance, x is defined as Eq. (2): compared with experimental data for pure oil at all four flow rates.
Fig. 4 shows this comparison and the maximum difference between ex-
q} πD perimental data and the theoretical equation is 17.8%. So there is a good
T m ðxÞ ¼ T in þ x ð2Þ
_ p
mC agreement between the experimental data and results of equations.

Where Tin, D, x, m & and Cp are the fluid bulk temperature at the inlet  13

diameter of the copper tube, the axial distance from the inlet of the test Nu ¼ 1:302 −0:5 ẋ ≤0:003 ð4Þ
section, the mass flow rate of the fluid, and specific heat of the fluid
respectively.  13

The actual value of heat flux was calculated based on the heat added e−41=ð2Þ ẋ≥0:003

Nu ¼ 4∙364 þ 0∙263 ð5Þ
to the test fluid, using an energy balance equation. The average heat 2
transfer coefficient can be calculated by Eq. (3):
ẋ ¼ ð2X=DÞ= Re Pr
h¼ ð3Þ
T s −T m
2.5. Heat transfer analysis
where Ts is the average wall temperature and Tm is the average bulk
temperature of the fluid.
In this section, the obtained results are discussed. The database
The Nusselt nimber is calculated as shown in Eq. (4):
includes Fig. 5 shows the variation of convective heat transfer coef-
hD ficient for all types of nanofluid samples and pure oil as a function
Nu ¼ ð4Þ of weight percentages of nanoparticles and axial distance (non-
dimentionalized axial distance: X/D) in laminar flow for two flow
where D is the Diameter of the straight tube. rates (as examples).
Once the setup had been constructed, measurements were taken for It can be seen that the heat transfer coefficient decreases with axial
each of the five samples at four different flow rates including 18.75 ml/s, distance. It is due to that the temperature difference between wall and
25 ml/s, 33.33 ml/s and 50 ml/s. The heat flux conditions were main- fluid bulk (Ts(x)-Tm(x)) is maximum at the entrance of the test section
tained constant and near to 9172 W/m2. and decreases with increasing pipe length. The highest increase in the
heat transfer coefficient occurs in the pipe entrance area, which de-
2.4. Verification of experimental setup creases with increasing axial distance. The heat transfer coefficient is
proportional to k/δt. In this ratio, k is the thermal conductivity of the
In order to evaluate the experimental setup accuracy, the Nusselt fluid and δt is the thickness of the thermal boundary layer. By increasing
number obtained from Eqs. (4) to (5) for laminar flow [43], was thermal conductivity and decreasing the thickness of the thermal

18 18
a) Q=18.75 ml/s b) Q=25 ml/s
14 14
12 12
10 10

8 8
6 6
4 4
2 Experimental Theoretical 2 Experimental Theoretical
0 0
28.5 57 85.5 114 142.5 28.5 57 85.5 114 142.5

20 22
18 c) Q=33.33 ml/s 20 d) Q=50 ml/s
16 18

8 8
6 6
4 4
Experimental Theoretical
2 Experimental Theoretical 2
0 0
28.5 57 85.5 114 142.5 28.5 57 85.5 114 142.5

Fig. 4. Comparison between experimental data and theoretical correlation for the nusselt number at various flowrates: a) Q = 18.75 ml/s, b) Q = 25 ml/s, c) Q = 33.33 ml/s, d) Q =
50 ml/s.
374 A. Naddaf et al. / Powder Technology 352 (2019) 369–380

480 530
a)Q=18.75 ml/s b)Q=50 ml/s
430 480
pure oil pure oil
MWCNT0.05 wt% 430 MWCNT0.05 wt%
MWCNT 0.1 wt% MWCNT 0.1 wt%

h W/m2 K
h W/m2 K

MWCNT 0.2wt% MWCNT 0.2wt%

330 MWCNT0.5wt% MWCNT0.5wt%

180 180
28.5 57 114 142.5 28.5 57 85.5 114 142.5
480 780
c)Q=18.75 ml/s d)Q=50 ml/s
430 680
pure oil pure oil
GNP-HA0.05wt% GNP-HA0.05wt%

h (W/m2 K)
h (W/m2 K)

GNP-HA 0.1 wt% GNP-HA 0.1 wt%

GNP-HA0.2wt% GNP-HA0.2wt%
330 480
GNP-HA0.5wt% GNP-HA0.5wt%

280 380

230 280

180 180
28.5 57 85.5 114 142.5 28.5 57 85.5 114 142.5

Fig. 5. Local heat transfer coefficient at various weight percentage versus axial distance a) MWCNT Q = 18.75 ml/s, b) MWCNT Q = 50 ml/s, c) GNP-HA Q = 18.75 ml/s,
d) GNP-HA Q = 50 ml/s.

boundary layer, the heat transfer coefficient increases. However, the ir- the fluid is near the critical point), the difference in density can affect
regular and accidental movements of particles play a deterrent effect the transfer of momentum and heat.
against the formation of the thermal boundary layer on the tube wall, Another reason for improvement of heat transfer is due to the fact
which causes the development of the thermal boundary layer to be de- that the viscosity near the wall of in a tube is decreased with respect
layed. The presence of nanoparticles in the base fluid, changes the struc- to the viscosity of the bulk fluid. In case of flow inside a tube, the tem-
ture of the flow in such a way that, in addition to increasing thermal peratures at the wall and the centerline are maximum and minimum,
conductivity, factors such as Brownian movements, Thermophoresis respectively. Due to these temperature variations, there are additional
and diffusive phenomena lead to Increase the exchange rate of energy variations in the viscosity of the fluid in the radial direction, resulting
and consequently, increasing the heat transfer rate between the fluid in minimum viscosity at the wall and maximum viscosity at the center-
and the wall of the pipe. line. This leads to convective effects in the radial direction, and hence,
At the same flow rate, by increasing the weight percentage of nano- improved heat transfer coefficient.
particles, the local heat transfer coefficient increases. Local heat transfer In the high flow rates of nanofluids, accidental movements and the
coefficient increases for all nanofluids at all weight percentages. So all effects of carbon nanoparticles dispersion intensify the turbulence
nanofluid samples exhibit higher heat transfer coefficients compared caused by mixing and thereby flatten the temperature profile. In fact,
to pure oil. The positive effect of adding a very small amount of carbon the temperature profile becomes similar to the turbulent flow profile
nanoparticles on the thermal properties of the oil is observed in the and causes an increase in the heat transfer coefficient. There is a proba-
results. bility of accumulation and clustering of nanomaterials in the low
Fig. 6 demonstrates the average convective heat transfer coefficient nanofluid flow rates. But at higher flow rates, the heat transfer coeffi-
for nanofluids with different volume concentrations and also pure oil cient is higher than that of the lower coefficient. Indeed, with an in-
versus Reynolds number. The results indicate an increase in nanoparti- crease in flow rate, the heat transfer coefficient increases clearly. The
cle concentration leads to a better enhancement in the convective heat highest average heat transfer coefficient (have) is related to the
transfer coefficient. by increasing the reynolds number, heat transfer co- nanofluid containing GNP-HA at a concentration of 0.5% at flow rate of
efficient increase in all concentrations of nanofluids. 50 ml/s. Due to the increasing concentration of particles, the thermal
Since the thermal conductivity of the two-phase mixture increased conductivity of nanofluids, which is a key factor in increasing the ther-
by nanoparticles suspended in the mixture and the Brownian move- mal performance, is increased. Functionalization of nanoparticles pre-
ment of nanoparticles precipitates the exchange of energy in the vents agglomeration and sedimentation of nanoparticles, which is
nanofluid. Therefor thermophysical properties can lead to an increase effective in increasing the heat transfer coefficient. Of course, the in-
in heat transfer coefficient. Higher density and viscosity of nanofluids crease in the heat transfer coefficient due to the addition of covalently
(according to the results of previous work on viscosity and density of functionalized carbon nanoparticles is more than that of non-covalent
nanofluids [42]) confirm above-mentioned argument. When density functionalized. Because of the high molecular number and the number
changes across the diameter of the tube are large (for example, when of branches of noncovalent functional groups, the effective surface of
A. Naddaf et al. / Powder Technology 352 (2019) 369–380 375

650 650
pure oil GNP-HA-0.05wt%
pure oil CNT-HA-0.05wt%
GNP-HA-0.1wt% GNP-HA-0.2wt%
600 CNT-HA-0.1wt% CNT-HA-0.2wt% 600
550 550

500 500

450 450

400 400
350 350
300 300
0 50 100 150 200 0 50 100 150 200
400 460
pure oil GNP-0.05wt%
pure oil CNT-0.05wt%
390 440 GNP-0.1wt% GNP-0.2wt%
CNT-0.1wt% CNT-0.2wt%
380 CNT-0.5wt% 420


350 380
340 360
300 300
0 50 100 150 200 0 50 100 150 200
Re Re

pure oil CNT-GNP-0.05wt%
CNT-GNP-0.1wt% CNT-GNP-0.2wt%
500 CNT-GNP-0.5wt%




0 50 100 150 200

Fig. 6. Average heat transfer coefficient at various weight percentage versus Re.

heat transfer decreases. Low effective surface, reduces thermal conduc- As shown in the diagrams, the pressure drop in nanofluids increases
tivity and heat transfer rates. by adding nanoparticles to the pure oil and enhances by increasing
weight percentages of nanoparticles. Although it is obvious that the
2.6. Pressure drop pressure drop of nanofluids is larger than pure oil, this is not so high
such a way that in low percentages of nanoparticles, the pressure drop
Pressure drop for pure oil and nanofluids with various weight per- is not significantly different from pure oil. Therefore, it does not gener-
centages of covalent and non-covalent functionalized nanoparticles ate excessive pumping power. Of course, at higher Reynolds number
were measured using a U-shaped manometer and calculated by Eq. and higher concentrations of nanoparticles, the pressure drop is nearly
(7). Fig. 7 indicates changes pressure drop of nanofluids with the weight more sensible. The reason for not increasing the pressure drop in
percentages of nanofluids and Reynolds number compared to the pure lower concentrations is because of non-increase in viscosity of
oil. nanofluids in low concentrations according to the study that has been
done on thermophysical properties of diesel oil-based nanofluids [42].
ΔP ¼ ρHg −ρbf g∙Δl ð6Þ The results of this study showed that the viscosity of nanofluids has a di-
rect relation with the weight concentration and the pressure drop af-
fected by this relation.
Where ρHg, ρbf, and Δl are the density of mercury, the density of fluid So due to the direct relationship of pressure drop with the viscosity,
and height difference between two sides of nanometer respectively. the little increase in pressure drop seems logical. The lowest pressure
376 A. Naddaf et al. / Powder Technology 352 (2019) 369–380

880 880

840 840

Dp(pa) 820 820

800 800

780 780

760 760

740 740
pure oil 0.05wt% 0.1wt% pure oil 0.05wt% 0.1wt%
720 720
0.2wt% 0.5wt% 0.2wt% 0.5wt%
700 700
0 50 100 150 200 0 50 100 150 200
Re Re
860 860

840 840
820 820

800 800

780 Dp(pa) 780

760 760

740 740
pure oil 0.05wt% 0.1wt% pure oil 0.05wt% 0.1wt%
720 720
0.2wt% 0.5wt% 0.2wt% 0.5wt%
700 700
0 50 100 150 200 0 50 100 150 200
Re Re







pure oil 0.05wt% 0.1wt%
0.2wt% 0.5wt%
0 50 Re 100 150 200

Fig. 7. The pressure drop of nanofluids at various weight percentage versus Re.

drop was related to the nanofluid containing HA-GNP at a concentration 2.7. Performance index of nanofluids
of 0.05% and a flow rate of 18.75 ml/s, which this pressure drop has only
increased by 0.012% compared to pure oil in the same flow rate. Also, The results obtained in the previous section indicate that using the
the highest pressure drop was observed in the presence of OA- nanofluids instead of pure oil improves the heat transfer coefficient.
MWCNT in pure oil at a concentration of 0.5 wt% and 50 ml/s, which However, this increase in the convective heat transfer coefficient is as-
was 6.3% higher than the pressure drop of pure oil at the same weight sociated with a slight drop in pressure which may limit the use of
percentage and flow rate. nanofluid in operation. Therefore, in order to find the optimum condi-
The lowest pressure drop is 15% less than the maximum drop in tions for the operation of the nanofluids, the increase of the heat transfer
pressure. Table 2 presents the results of the average heat transfer coef- coefficient and pressure drop should be considered simultaneously. For
ficient and the pressure drop of the nanofluids in various flow rate are this purpose, a parameter called the performance index (Eq. (7)) is used
shown. [44].
A. Naddaf et al. / Powder Technology 352 (2019) 369–380 377

Table 2
Heat transfer coefficient and pressure drop of nanofluids at different weight percentages and flow rates.

Nanofluid type wt% Volume flow rate have ΔP

Pure oil 0 18.75 312.01 733.95

25 322.12 758.83
33.33 330.20 771.27
50 363.02 808.59
OA-MWCNT/DO 0.05 18.75 337.08 746.21
25 340.45 771.08
33.33 349.27 783.52
50 369.24 808.39
0.1 18.75 340.33 760.04
25 343.51 783.44
33.33 351.14 795.88
50 374.21 826.97
0.2 18.75 344.55 783.36
25 348.21 808.23
33.33 354.95 820.66
50 376.20 834.80
0.5 18.75 358.98 797.42
25 363.24 822.34
33.33 372.84 847.26
50 391.12 859.72
OA-GNP/DO 0.05 18.75 335.11 746.26
25 340.83 783.58
33.33 347.95 796.01
50 375.90 820.89
0.1 18.75 338.25 771.09
25 345.47 795.96
33.33 353.58 808.40
50 383.76 833.27
0.2 18.75 344.29 783.36
25 351.95 808.23
33.33 362.81 820.67
50 418.81 845.54
0.5 18.75 357.72 795.58
25 367.90 820.44
33.33 398.08 832.87
50 443.94 857.73
OA-CNT-GNP/DO 0.05 18.75 315.13 758.63
25 326.08 771.07
33.33 332.26 783.50
50 371.03 820.81
0.1 18.75 320.14 758.50
25 333.05 783.36
33.33 347.16 795.80
50 419.19 820.67
0.2 18.75 326.17 771.05
25 345.07 795.92
33.33 363.24 808.36
50 447.41 833.23
0.5 18.75 350.21 795.58
25 371.33 820.44
33.33 387.00 832.87
50 506.17 857.73
HA-MWCNT/DO 0.05 18.75 320.09 752.55
25 343.00 771.21
33.33 365.41 783.65
50 413.15 820.97
0.1 18.75 313.46 758.67
25 344.55 783.54
33.33 367.08 795.98
50 435.14 820.85
0.2 18.75 325.23 764.80
25 355.22 795.89
33.33 388.31 808.33
50 541.11 833.20
0.5 18.75 345.08 783.29
25 361.10 808.15
33.33 420.23 820.59
50 600.10 845.45
HA-GNP/DO 0.05 18.75 334.12 733.86
25 340.24 764.99
33.33 354.40 783.62
50 512.40 820.93
0.1 18.75 342.21 758.68
25 348.03 771.12

(continued on next page)

378 A. Naddaf et al. / Powder Technology 352 (2019) 369–380

Table 2 (continued)

Nanofluid type wt% Volume flow rate have ΔP

33.33 369.11 795.99

50 554.14 833.31
0.2 18.75 355.50 771.03
25 380.57 783.47
33.33 407.64 808.34
50 594.81 833.21
0.5 18.75 380.04 783.32
25 422.67 795.75
33.33 463.23 820.62

hnf concentration of 0.5% and the flow rate of 50 ml/s has the highest per-
formance index. In this manner, functionalized graphene has a higher
ε¼ ð7Þ performance index than non-covalent one. In the case of carbon nano-
ΔP nf
tubes, except in the case of the flowrate of 18.75 ml/s (lowest flow
ΔP bf
rate), non-covalent functionalized carbon nanotubes have a higher per-
formance index than covalent one. The performance index of MWCNT
and GNP hybrid in concentrations of 0.05% and 0.1%is lower than
In this correlation, hnf and hbf are the average heat transfer coefficient
MWCNT and GNP alone and in higher concentration, has a higher per-
of nanofluids and base fluid respectively and ΔPnf and ΔPbf are the pres-
formance index than GNP and MWCNT alone. Of course, the perfor-
sure drop of nanofluids and base fluid respectively. When the perfor-
mance index of this hybrid is closer to the graphene performance
mance index is greater than one, the role of nanofluids in heat transfer
index alone.
is greater than the pressure drop. In this case, the use of nanofluid
leads to improvement of the thermal performance of the system. To
evaluate this index, the changes in the performance index of nanofluids
3. Uncertainty analysis
for weight concentrations of 0.05–0.5% are shown in Fig. 8.
As seen in Fig. 8, in almost all cases, the performance index of
Frequently, the result of an experiment will not be measured di-
nanofluids is more than one. Therefore, using nanofluids more than in-
rectly. Rather, it will be calculated from several measured physical
creasing the pressure drop, leads to an increase in the heat transfer co-
quantities. Because of that, subsequently will be shown a way to deter-
efficient and the prepared nanofluid samples are suitable for use in the
minate the errors of different parameters when they depend on other
industrial units. The highest performance index is related to the HA-
measured variables. If the quantity P is a function of the parameters
GNP nanofluid at 50 ml/s with a value of 1.6438. Also, among the
x1, x2, …, xn, the effect of the measurement error of the parameter xi
noncovalent functionalized nanoparticles, the OA-GNP nanofluid, at a

a) wt=0.05% c)wt=0.2%
1.6 1.8
1.4 1.6
Performance index

1.2 1.4
Performance index

1 1.2
0.2 0.2
0 0
Q=18.75ml/s Q=25ml/s Q=33.33ml/s Q=50ml/s Q=18.75ml/s Q=25ml/s Q=33.33ml/s Q=50ml/s
Flow rate(ml/s) Flowrate(ml/s)

b)wt=0.1% d)wt=0.5%
1.6 1.8
1.4 1.6
Performance index

Performance index

1.2 1.4
1 1.2
0.8 1
0.6 0.8
0.4 0.6
0.2 0.4
0 0.2
Q=18.75ml/s Q=25ml/s Q=33.33ml/s Q=50ml/s
Flow rate(ml/s) Q=18.75ml/s Q=25ml/s Q=33.33ml/s Q=50ml/s

Fig. 8. Performance index of nanofluids at different flowrates a) w = 0.05% ml/s b) w = 0.1% c) w = 0.2% d) w = 0.5%.
A. Naddaf et al. / Powder Technology 352 (2019) 369–380 379

Table 3 3. The pressure drop of nanofluids increases with an increasing weight

Error values for different measured parameters. percentage of nanoparticles, but this increase is not too high. At low
Variable Error Error value concentrations of nanoparticles, the pressure drop is not significantly
Time Ut ±1.6 × 10−2
different from pure oil. Therefore, it does not generate excessive
Volume Uvol ±3 × 10−3 pumping power. The higher flow rate and the higher concentration
Ampere UI ±2.7 × 10−2 of nanoparticles resulted in a higher pressure drop.
Voltage Uv ±1.7 × 10−2 4. Except two of the performance indices which are related to the hy-
Diameter UD ±1.42 × 10−2
brid of graphene and nanotubes that both are equal to 0.99, in all
Length of tube UL ±1 × 10−2
The height of fluid in the manometer Uh ±6 × 10−3 other nanofluids, the performance indices are more than one. There-
Wall temperature UTs ±2.4 × 10−3 fore, the use of nanofluids, more than increasing the drop in pressure
Inlet fluid bulk temperature UTi ±4 × 10−3 leads to an increase in the heat transfer coefficient value and the pre-
Outlet fluid bulk temperature UTo ±2.3 × 10−3 pared samples are suitable for use in the industrial units.
Thermal conductivity coefficient Uk ±5.9 × 10−3
Viscosity Uμ ±7.1 × 10−2
5. The highest performance index is related to HA-GNP nanofluid at the
Density Uρ ±1.25 × 10−6 flow rate of 50 ml/s. Also, among non-covalent functionalized nano-
particles, the OA-GNP has the maximum performance index with a
concentration of 0.5 wt% at the flow rate of 50 ml/s. The covalent
on the quantity P is calculated as [45]: functionalized graphene has a higher performance index than non-
covalent one. In the case of carbon nanotubes, except in the flow
xi ∂P rate of 18.75 ml/s (lowest flow rate), non-covalent carbon nanotubes
UPi ¼ Ux ð8Þ
P ∂xi i have a higher index than the covalencte one. The performance index
of graphene and carbon nanotubes hybrid is closer to graphene per-
In this case, xi, P, Uxi, and UPi are the measurable parameter, the formance index alone and can be a cheaper alternative to graphene.
quantity calculated from measurable parameters, the measurement
error, and the maximum possible error in the calculation of a quantity. Acknowledgments
The total error P is calculated as a result of errors in the parameters xi
[46]. The authors would like to thank South Pars Gas Complex
(Grant:306357) for the financial support.
( 2  2  2 )12
x1 ∂P x2 ∂P xn ∂P
UP ¼  Ux1 þ Ux2 þ…þ Uxn ð9Þ References
P ∂x1 P ∂x2 P ∂xn
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