Cool nanotechnology can save energy

March 28, 2006

Huge reductions in heating bills, safer surgery and the next generation of miniaturised computers are among the potential benefits of new nanotechnology developed at Leeds.

By suspending nanoparticles in water or other liquids, Professor Richard Williams and Dr Yulong Ding have created 'nanofluids' which can transfer heat up to 400% faster than other liquids. In a central heating system, nanofluids could increase efficiency without the need to use a more powerful pump, so saving energy and providing major environmental benefits.

The University of Leeds now has one of the largest teams in the world and the only group in the UK working on these 'nanofluids'.

The fluids could open the door to the next generation of computers, by overcoming one of the main limitations on developing smaller microchips: rapid heat dissipation.

During critical surgery, nanofluids could be used to cool the brain so it requires less oxygen and thereby enhance the patient's chance of survival and reduce the risk of brain damage. They could also be used to produce a higher temperature around tumours to kill cancerous cells without affecting nearby healthy cells.

Dr Ding said: "With the strong research team here at Leeds we have considerable expertise in developing nanofluids and already have a number of prototypes under investigation. We are looking to characterise these fluids so we fully understand their heat conductive properties under static and dynamic conditions in both large and micro channels."

The researchers are talking to industrial partners about moving towards large-scale production.

Source: University of Leeds

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Horn of Africa drying ever faster as climate warms

October 9, 2015

The Horn of Africa has become increasingly arid in sync with the global and regional warming of the last century and at a rate unprecedented in the last 2,000 years, according to new research led by a University of Arizona ...

Scientists paint quantum electronics with beams of light

October 9, 2015

A team of scientists from the University of Chicago and the Pennsylvania State University have accidentally discovered a new way of using light to draw and erase quantum-mechanical circuits in a unique class of materials ...

A mission to a metal world—The Psyche mission

October 9, 2015

In their drive to set exploration goals for the future, NASA's Discovery Program put out the call for proposals for their thirteenth Discovery mission in February 2014. After reviewing the 27 initial proposals, a panel of ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.