Porous (CuO)xZnO hollow spheres as efficient Rochow reaction catalysts

Zailei Zhang*, Yongjun Ji, Jing Li, Yongxia Zhu, Ziyi Zhong, Fabing Su

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Nowadays, how to achieve both high dimethyldichlorosilane selectivity and silicon conversion in the Rochow reaction still remains a major challenge in the organosilane industry, in which silicon and chloromethane are converted into methylchlorosilanes on Cu-based catalysts mixed with ZnO promoter. Therefore, this calls for the development of outstanding catalysts with both high activity and selectivity for the Rochow reaction and also for a deep fundamental understanding of the catalytic mechanism. In this work, we designed and synthesized a series of copper oxide-zinc oxide catalysts ((CuO)xZnO (0 ≤ x ≤ 49)) with a distinct porous hollow spherical structure for the reaction. These porous hollow spherical catalysts composed of CuO and ZnO nanoparticles were prepared through co-adsorption of Cu2+ and Zn2+ in the interior and outer surfaces of the hydrothermally synthesized carbonaceous spheres, followed by a new hydrothermal treatment and calcination in air. The catalytic properties of the (CuO)xZnO hollow spheres for dimethyldichlorosilane synthesis via the Rochow reaction was investigated, and a deeper understanding of the catalytic mechanism was obtained. As compared to pure CuO hollow spheres, the prepared (CuO)19ZnO hollow spheres exhibited much higher dimethyldichlorosilane selectivity and silicon conversion, which are clearly related to the synergistic electronic effect between Cu and ZnO and to the distinct catalyst structures which allow intimate contact of the reactant molecules with the active component and the efficient transport of the molecules. This work opens a new way for the fabrication of efficient and integrated Cu-based catalysts for the Rochow reaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2808-2819
Number of pages12
Issue number16
StatePublished - 28 Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes


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