Alcohols, especially MeOH, can be produced from CO and H2 at 250° C. and pressures of 300-600 atm. in Fe apparatus without damage to the apparatus if the partial pressure of CO is kept at 15-20 atm. Virtually no Fe carbonyl is formed. The low partial pressure is necessary only at the parts of the apparatus with temperatures favorable for formation of carbonyl. Partial pressures equal to those ordinarily used may be maintained in the zones with temperatures above that favorable for the formation of Fe carbonyl. To fulfill these conditions, fresh synthesis gas, richer in CO than the recycled gas, is introduced at a temperature < 100° C. into the 2d and succeeding layers of catalyst in an amount sufficient to increase the partial pressure of the CO at the points the fresh gas is added to >20 atm. 2 literature refs., 1 foreign patent, and 3 United States patents are cited.