Simulation and experimental study of the specific heat capacity of molten salt based nanofluids

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Colleges, School and Institutes


This work presents both simulations and experiments showing that the use of silica nanoparticles enhances the thermal properties of molten salt based nanofluids which is a provisional candidate for solar thermal energy storage. Sodium nitrate, potassium nitrate and lithium nitrate were chosen as the base material for such nanofluids. Thermodynamic and transport properties for nitrate salts and nanofluids were computed from molecular dynamics simulations. In order to validate our simulation results, different scanning calorimetry (DSC) was employed to measure the thermal properties of salt based nanofluids at 270-400. °C. Both simulation and experimental results showed that the addition of nanoparticles increases the specific heat capacity. Material characterization analysis was carried out to investigate microstructural change of nanomaterials using a scanning electron microscopy (SEM). We observed a stripe-like arrangement of nanoparticles with SEM. That may be responsible for the enhancement of specific heat capacity of the nanofluids.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1517-1522
JournalApplied Thermal Engineering
Early online date25 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2017


  • Molecular dynamics simulation, Molten salts, Nanoparticles, Specific heat capacity