It is a most important synthetic reagent; with sodium or sodium ethylate it forms sodio-malonic ester, which reacts readily with alkyl halides, forming alkyl malonic esters, which are again capable of forming sodium derivatives, that by further treatment with alkyl halides yield the di-alkyl malonic esters.
The N-derivatives are prepared by the action of alkyl halides and acid chlorides on potassium pyrrol.
The older methods used for the preparation of the amorphous form, namely the decomposition of silicon halides or silicofluorides by the alkali metals, or of silica by magnesium, do not give good results, since' the silicon obtained is always contaminated with various impurities, but a pure variety may be prepared according to E.
The organic derivatives of silicon resemble the corresponding carbon compounds except in so far that the silicon atom is not capable of combining with itself to form a complex chain in the same manner as the carbon atom, the limit at present being a chain of three silicon atoms. Many of the earlier-known silicon alkyl compounds were isolated by Friedel and Crafts and by Ladenburg, the method adopted consisting in the interaction of the zinc alkyl compounds with silicon halides or esters of silicic acids.
Taurke (Ber., 1905, 38, p. 1663) by condensing silicon halides with alkyl chlorides in the presence of sodium: SiC14-1-4R Cl+8Na= SiR 4 +8NaCI; SiHC1 3 +3R.