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Institut Laue-Langevin

The Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL) is the world's leading facility in neutron science and technology. It operates the most intense neutron source on earth in Grenoble in the south-east of France.

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News

24 January 2012 08:18 Age: 2 yrs

The world’s first magnetic soap!

Bristol University team dissolve iron in liquid surfactant to create a soap that can be controlled by magnets. The discovery, published today in Angewandte Chemie, could be used to create cleaning products that can be removed after application and used in the recovery of oil spills at sea.

Scientists from Bristol University have developed a soap, composed of iron rich salts dissolved in water, that responds to a magnetic field when placed in solution. The soap’s magnetic properties were proved with neutrons at the Institut Laue-Langevin to result from tiny iron-rich clumps that sit within the watery solution. The generation of this property in a fully functional soap could calm concerns over the use of soaps in oil-spill clean ups and revolutionise industrial cleaning products.

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