Jump to main content
Jump to site search

Issue 37, 2020
Previous Article Next Article

Hydrophobic solvation increases thermal conductivity of water

Author affiliations


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

Back to tab navigation

Supplementary files

Article information

15 Jul 2020
11 Sep 2020
First published
11 Sep 2020

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

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

Social activity

Search articles by author