Equilibrium and nonequilibrium molecular dynamics (MD) are used to investigate the thermal conductivity of binary hard-sphere fluids. It is found that the thermal conductivity of a mixture can not only lie outside the series and parallel bounds set by their pure component values, but can lie beyond even the pure component fluid values. The MD simulations verify that revised Enskog theory can accurately predict nonequilibrium thermal conductivities at low densities and this theory is applied to explore the model parameter space. Only certain mass and size ratios are found to exhibit conductivity enhancements above the parallel bounds and dehancement below the series bounds. The anomalous dehancement is experimentally accessible in helium-hydrogen gas mixtures and a review of the literature confirms the existence of mixture thermal conductivity below the series bound and even below the pure fluid values, in accordance with the predictions of revised Enskog theory. The results reported here may reignite the debate in the nanofluid literature on the possible existence of anomalous thermal conductivities outside the series and parallel bounds as this Rapid Communication demonstrates they are a fundamental feature of even simple fluids.
Moir, C., Lue, L., Gale, J. D., Raiteri, P., & Bannerman, M. N. (2019). Anomalous heat transport in binary hard-sphere gases. Physical Review E, 99(3). https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevE.99.030102