Case Studies

Chemical Industry

Applications of neutrons in the chemical industry are for instance:

  • Macroscopic properties investigated at the microscopic level: detergents, personal & home care, drugs, surfactant, colloid solutions, etc.
  • Study of liquid/liquid or liquid/solid, liquid/air interfaces
  • Solubility and stability issues, design of active substances
  • Morphology of surfaces and thin-films

Please see a number of case studies below and download the PDF files to know more. For applications of neutrons in other industrial fields, please click here .

Emulsions, Foams, Gels, Surfactants, Colloids, Micelles… and neutrons !

Emulsions, Foams, Gels, Surfactants, Colloids, Micelles… and neutrons !

Emulsions, Foams, Gels, Surfactants, Colloids, Micelles… and neutrons !

Investigation of a liquid or gel made from particles (e.g. micelles, colloids) within a solvent. Neutron characterization can:

  • - See what happens to the particles, at the level of the core or the shell or both under various conditions (temperature, shear, concentration)
  • - Investigate interactions of the particles with other substances (pollutants, polymers, etc.) in order to understand macroscopic properties

Download the PDF file.

Improved formulation for STEPAN surfactants

Improved formulation for STEPAN surfactants

Improved formulation for STEPAN surfactants

Stepan is one of the world’s largest producers of surfactants. In its quest for formulations tailored to customer requirements, the company needed to validate hypotheses developed on the microstructure of surfactants. Their questions could not all be answered using standard techniques.

“The SANS measurements gave us indications on the self-assembly structure of our surfactants. We were able to distinguish between different structures, findings which challenged our knowledge to date. The time spent with the ILL scientist was invaluable.”

Download the PDF file.

Investigating viscosity to improve product functionality and industrial processing

Investigating viscosity to improve product functionality and industrial processing

Investigating viscosity to improve product functionality and industrial processing

Small-angle neutron scattering measurements can provide insight into the microstructure of liquids and gels under evolving conditions – of shear or temperature, for example.

Download the PDF file

Insight into electrolysis cells from Haldor Topsøe

Insight into electrolysis cells from Haldor Topsøe

Insight into electrolysis cells from Haldor Topsøe

Haldor Topsøe is a world leader in the development and manufacture of catalysts and the design of process plants for the chemical and petrochemical industries.

Neutron imaging is the most appropriate technique when it comes to penetrating centimeters of metal whilst maintaining sensitivity to hydrogenated materials (such as polymers, for example).

Haldor Topsøe therefore chose to perform neutron radiography and tomography investigations at the Maier-Leibnitz Zentrum in Germany. Their researchers were able to identify hitherto unknown features within the stack.

Download the PDF file.