Tailoring morphology and bulk density of magnesium ethoxide particles by adding n-hexane and silicone oil
Zhou Lan, Yangcheng Lu*
In this work, we used the inert substances silicone oil and n-hexane to modulate the solvent environment, and in so doing tailor the preparation of magnesium ethoxide (Mg(OEt)2) particles. We found the following: (1) nonpolar n-hexane mainly modulates the polarity of the solvent to control the precipitation rate and size of the Mg(OEt)2 seeds, thereby triggering accelerated nucleation to form small primary particles; and (2) silicone oil (relatively high polarity and viscosity) facilitates the growth and agglomeration stage, to improve inter-particle dispersion and obtain relatively uniform Mg(OEt)2 particles. We summarized these findings in a common mechanism for preparing Mg(OEt)2 particles with uniform morphology, small size, and high bulk density as per the synergistic effect of n-hexane and silicone oil. The ratios of silicone oil and n-hexane are flexible, and afford various regular and well-dispersed Mg(OEt)2 particles that are 5–30 μm in size and 0.2–0.7 g/cm3 in bulk density. The nanoparticles thus have the potential to serve in diverse applications such as catalysis.
Magnesium ethoxide; Silicone oil; n-Hexane; Synergic effect