A newly-developed magnetic soap could be used to minimize the environmental impact of oil spill clean-ups (Photo: Mila Zinkova)
In an experiment, the magnetic soap rose through a layer of lighter material, in order to reach a magnet
When oil gets spilled in a waterway, clean-up crews will often introduce a solution known as a surfactant. This is a detergent that lessens the surface tension between the water and the overlaying oil slick, causing the oil to form into individual droplets which then sink or get dispersed by wave action. Unfortunately, such detergents aren’t entirely environmentally-friendly themselves, so the use of them on oil spills has been criticized as simply replacing one pollutant with another. Now, however, scientists from the University of Bristol have created a magnetic soap, that could be removed from the water once it had done its job.
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