In this work a novel aerosol method, derived from the batch Reduction/Expansion Synthesis (RES) method, for production of nano / micro-scale metal particles from oxides and hydroxides is presented. In the Aersosol-RES (A-RES) method, an aerosol, consisting of a physical mixture of urea and metal oxide or hydroxides, is passed through a heated oven (1000 °C) with a residence time of the order of 1 second, producing pure (zero valent) metal particles. It appears that the process is flexible regarding metal or alloy identity, allows control of particle size and can be readily scaled to very large throughput. Current work is focused on creating nanoparticles of metal and metal alloy using this method. Although this is primarily a report on observations, some key elements of the chemistry are clear. In particular, the reducing species produced by urea decomposition are the primary agents responsible for reduction of oxides and hydroxides to metal. It is also likely that the rapid expansion that takes place when solid/liquid urea decomposes to form gas species influences the final morphology of the particles.

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