Nanoparticle transport phenomena in confined flows

Adv Heat Transf. 2019;51:55-129. doi: 10.1016/bs.aiht.2019.08.002. Epub 2019 Oct 4.


Nanoparticles submerged in confined flow fields occur in several technological applications involving heat and mass transfer in nanoscale systems. Describing the transport with nanoparticles in confined flows poses additional challenges due to the coupling between the thermal effects and fluid forces. Here, we focus on the relevant literature related to Brownian motion, hydrodynamic interactions and transport associated with nanoparticles in confined flows. We review the literature on the several techniques that are based on the principles of non-equilibrium statistical mechanics and computational fluid dynamics in order to simultaneously preserve the fluctuation-dissipation relationship and the prevailing hydrodynamic correlations. Through a review of select examples, we discuss the treatments of the temporal dynamics from the colloidal scales to the molecular scales pertaining to nanoscale fluid dynamics and heat transfer. As evident from this review, there, indeed has been little progress made in regard to the accurate modeling of heat transport in nanofluids flowing in confined geometries such as tubes. Therefore the associated mechanisms with such processes remain unexplained. This review has revealed that the information available in open literature on the transport properties of nanofluids is often contradictory and confusing. It has been very difficult to draw definitive conclusions. The quality of work reported on this topic is non-uniform. A significant portion of this review pertains to the treatment of the fluid dynamic aspects of the nanoparticle transport problem. By simultaneously treating the energy transport in ways discussed in this review as related to momentum transport, the ultimate goal of understanding nanoscale heat transport in confined flows may be achieved.