CO is hydrogenated by passing a synthesis gas mixture containing CO: H2=1:1 to 1:2 parts by volume into a synthesis catalyst bed, preheating the gas mixture entering the bed to a synthesis temperature, and adding enough H2O to the gases passing through the catalyst bed to absorb the exothermic heat of the synthesis reaction by evaporation of the H2O. When the process is operated with an Fe catalyst and a synthesis gas pressure between 20 and 30 atm. with a synthesis gas composed of approximately equal portions of CO and H2 and a temperature of about 240° in the catalyst bed, the following equation corresponds very closely to the type of products made: 45 CO+48 H2=3 C8H16+C3H6 +3 CH4+15 CO2+15 H2O. When a Co catalyst and a synthesis gas pressure of approximately 10-15 atm. are used at a temperature of about 200° with a synthesis gas composed of about 1.75 parts H2:1 part CO, the following products are formed: 40 CO+68 H2=C20H42+C8H18+C3H8+3 CH4+6 CO2+28 H2O. With the Fe catalyst approximately 62 B. t. u. are evolved per cu. ft. of gas; with the Co catalyst, 67 B. t. u. per cu. ft. Not more than 1% of liquid H2O should leave the catalyst bed with the reaction products.
POWER-GAS CORP., LTD. See abs. 886.