Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Everett Carpenter

Second Advisor

Maryanne Collinson

Third Advisor

Frank Gupton

Fourth Advisor

Hani El-Kaderi


Two different iron oxide nanofluids were tested for heat transfer properties in industrial cooling systems. The nanofluids either had 30 nm particles with a wide size distribution to include particles greater than 1 micrometer or 15 nm particles with greater than 95% of the particles less than 33 nm. Calorimetry and thermal circuit modeling indicate that the 15 nm particle ferrofluid enhanced heat capacity. The smaller particle ferrofluid also demonstrated up to a 39% improvement in heat transfer, while the larger particle ferrofluid degraded the heat transfer performance. Particles from the larger particle ferrofluid were noted as settling out of a circulating system and therefore not participating in the bulk fluid properties. Application of 0.32% 15nm particles in an open cooling system improved cooling tower efficiency by 7.7% at a flow rate of 11.4 liter per minute and improved cooling tower efficiency by 3.3% at a flow rate of 22.7 liter per minute, while applying 0.53% 15 nm particles also improved cooling tower efficiency but was less effective than the lower concentration.


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Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

October 2012

Available for download on Monday, October 05, 2212

Included in

Chemistry Commons