Liquid hydrocarbons are synthesized by subjecting gaseous C compounds such as are contained in water gas, coke-oven gas, natural gas, and gases produced by cracking heavy oils, to the action of rapidly moving electrons (β-rays) or to the joint action of β-rays and X-rays. The reaction may be facilitated by rotating electric or electromagnetic fields and by a catalyst in suspension in the reacting gases. In addition to hydrocarbons, other products such as ketones and alcohols may be obtained, especially when the gases contain water vapor. Higher boiling hydrocarbons may be obtained by subjecting those of lower boiling point to the radiations. Water gas may be subjected to the radiations and then compressed to 800-1,000 atm. The hydrocarbon products are mainly saturated.
PLAUTH, E. See abs. 2335.