small plans: nanotechnology for the building industry

Monday, May 01, 2006

Gold nanoparticles are powerful heaters

Nanoparticles of gold can act as tiny, precise and powerful heaters, according to a new study.

When stimulated with the right frequency of laser light, a small collection of metal nanoparticles, such as gold, can heat an area up to 1,000 times its size, according to Ohio University scientists Hugh Richardson and Sasha Govorov.

Other scientists are using that superheating capacity in novel applications that could result in huge reductions in heating bills, according to the Smart Economy Blog.

By suspending nanoparticles made of gold or other materials such as carbon, copper or copper oxide in water or other liquids, engineers have created 'nanofluids' which can transfer heat up to 400% faster than other liquids (up from 150% in 2003).

In a central heating system, nanofluids could increase efficiency without the need to use a more powerful pump, saving energy and providing major environmental benefits. (photo Hugh Richardson)

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