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In the present invention there is disclosed a method for improving the conversion rates of GeO2 and SiO2. The method is based on a kinetic optimization of reaction 9 assuming BCl3 formation to be the slow step. In the exemplary embodiment the method is carried out in a carbochlorination plant comprising a gaseous product line extending between the chlorination reactor 14 and the first condenser 32. The gaseous product is essentially composed of SiCl4(g), BCl3(g), Cl2(g), and CO2(g).
The boiling point of the compound germanium tetrachloride (GeCl4) is lower than that of the compound silicon tetrachloride (SiCl4). The reason for this is that the molecules of GeCl4 have a smaller radius and a shorter bond length than those of SiCl4. As a result, the London dispersion forces between GeCl4 molecules are weaker and thereby the boiling point is lower.
For the purpose of analyzing and evaluating the behavior of the gecl4 boiling point the following experiments were performed. In experiment 13 a partial mixing episode was realized after 20 minutes of reaction time in a chlorine atmosphere. The conversion rates obtained for GeO2 and SiO2 were 84% and 72% respectively.
The same experimental parameters were used in experiment 14. However, in this case the reagent mixture contained 13 wt % of KCl. The results obtained in this experiment showed that the addition of KCl in the reagent mixture significantly increased the conversion rates of GeO2 and SiO2. This is due to the fact that KCl increases the magnitude of negative charge developed at chlorine atoms.