A process for the production of monosilanes from the high-boiling residue resulting from the reaction of hydrogen chloride with silicon metalloid in a process typically referred to as the "direct process." The process comprises contacting a high-boiling residue resulting from the reaction of hydrogen chloride and silicon metalloid, with hydrogen gas in the presence of a catalytic amount of aluminum trichloride effective in promoting conversion of the high-boiling residue to monosilanes. The present process results in conversion of the high-boiling residue to monosilanes. At least a portion of the aluminum trichloride catalyst required for conduct of the process may be formed in situ during conduct of the direct process and isolation of the high-boiling residue.
This invention was made with United States Government support under DOE Contract DE-FC04-94AL99566 awarded by the Department of Energy. The United States Government has certain rights in the invention.