In the present work, effects of different surface modification methods (surfactant, acid, base, amide, sulfate) on multi walled carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are studied. The dispersion stability of CNTs in aqueous media was confirmed and the effects of the type of treatment on the thermal conductivity of CNT/water nanofluids were investigated. The surface of the CNTs was modified with acid mixtures (H2SO4-HNO3), potassium persulfate (KPS), tetrahydrofuran (THF), octadecylamine and sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS). UV-visible spectral data indicate that the CNTs treated first with the acid mixture and then with KPS show the best dispersion stability. The basic treatment and SDS treated CNT/water nanofluids (SDS-KCNT/water) showed the highest conductivity of 0.765W/mK which increases 24.9% of water as a base fluid conductor. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.
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