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Issue 37, 2020
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Hydrophobic solvation increases thermal conductivity of water

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Abstract

The interaction of water with small alcohols can be used as a model for understanding hydrophobic solvation of larger and more complex amphiphilic molecules. Despite its apparent simplicity, water/ethanol mixtures show important anomalies in several of their properties, like specific heat or partial molar volume, whose precise origin are still a matter of debate. Here we report high-resolution thermal conductivity, compressibility, and IR-spectroscopy data for water/ethanol solutions showing three distinct regions of solvation, related to changes in the H-bond network. Notably, the thermal conductivity shows a surprising increase of ≈3.1% with respect to pure water at dilute concentrations of ethanol (x = 0.025), which suggests a strengthening of H-bond network of water. Our results prove that the rate of energy transfer in water can be increased by hydrophobic solvation, due to the cooperative nature of the H-bond network.

Graphical abstract: Hydrophobic solvation increases thermal conductivity of water

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Article information


Submitted
15 Jul 2020
Accepted
11 Sep 2020
First published
11 Sep 2020

Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020,22, 21094-21098
Article type
Paper

Hydrophobic solvation increases thermal conductivity of water

C. López-Bueno, M. Suárez-Rodríguez, A. Amigo and F. Rivadulla, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2020, 22, 21094
DOI: 10.1039/D0CP03778H

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