Chemistry and Technology of Silicones by Walter Noll

By Walter Noll

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A few details follow below. The effect of the addition of zinc to the copper/silicon mixture in the synthesis of methylchlorosilanes can be considered a reproducible and technically valuable one. Zinc assumes the role of a promoter of the reaction. It lowers the "striking" and reaction temperatures; consequently, it increases the yield of dimethyldichlorosilane and suppresses harmful side reactions (90, 259). The use of copper-zinc alloys is said to have advantages under certain working conditions (208, 255).

The influence of other metals has been the subject of numerous investiga­ tions. A few details follow below. The effect of the addition of zinc to the copper/silicon mixture in the synthesis of methylchlorosilanes can be considered a reproducible and technically valuable one. Zinc assumes the role of a promoter of the reaction. It lowers the "striking" and reaction temperatures; consequently, it increases the yield of dimethyldichlorosilane and suppresses harmful side reactions (90, 259). The use of copper-zinc alloys is said to have advantages under certain working conditions (208, 255).

These will be treated here as a distinct group (Section 2 . 4 ) , and thus separated from the direct syntheses as defined above. " Millier (152) also described the reaction of alkyl halides with silicon alloys, but his priority date was nine months later. The simplest reaction of this type can be described by the equation: 2 R X + Si -> R S i X 2 (Ο 2 This is, as it were, the idealized form of the direct synthesis which would permit the utilization of all the starting materials if the reaction went to completion.

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