Alkoxysilanes can be synthesized from silicon or silicon oxide. For example, trimethoxysilane is formed directly from silicon by reaction with methanol vapor using copper(I) chloride as a catalyst. Silica gel supporting catalytic component, such as potassium hydroxide, reacts with dimethyl carbonate vapor to form tetramethoxysilane. Rice hull ash can also be used as a silica source, the ash reacting with dimethyl carbonate vapor, even in the absence of a catalyst. These reactions are gas-solid reactions. The rate of alkoxysilanes formation was measured and the effect of the reaction variables on the rate was examined. Together with the kinetic measurements, the microscopic measurement of the solid and the surface analysis techniques were employed to know the activation process of the solid surface by the catalysts.
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