The reaction of halo-boron compounds (B--X compounds, compounds having one or more boron-halogen bonds) with silanes provides boranes (B--H compounds, compounds having one or more B--H bonds) and halosilanes. Inorganic hydrides, such as surface-bound silane hydrides (Si--H) react with B--X compounds to form B--H compounds and surface-bound halosilanes. The surface bound halosilanes are converted back to surface-bound silanes electrochemically. Halo-boron compounds react with stannanes (tin compounds having a Sn--H bond) to form boranes and halostannanes (tin compounds having a Sn--X bond). The halostannanes are converted back to stannanes electrochemically or by the thermolysis of Sn-formate compounds. When the halo-boron compound is BCl.sub.3, the B--H compound is B.sub.2H.sub.6, and where the reducing potential is provided electrochemically or by the thermolysis of formate.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
 This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC51-06NA25396 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.