2385. NATTA, G. [Relation of the Activity of Proposed Catalysts for the Synthesis of Methyl Alcohol and Their Chemical and Crystalline Structure.] Giorn. chim. ind. applicata, vol. 12, 1930, pp. 13-23; British Chem. Abs., 1930, A, p. 552; Chem. Abs., vol. 24, 1930, p. 2717.
Catalysts available are: (1) Cu salts, which are easily poisoned by S compounds; and (2) Zn salts, which, alone, son lose their activity. However, certain oxides, notably Al2O3, and especially Cr2O3, by acting as protecting colloids, prevent the crystallization of the ZnO with its consequent loss of activity. Above 500°, these oxides begin to form spinels, and therefore lose some of their protective action. Some oxides form solid solutions with ZnO by entering its space lattice. The oxides of bivalent metals whose ionic diameter is 0.6-0.9 Å. U. Mg, Ni11, Cu11, Co11, Fe11, and Mn11 are included. Cu and Ni are reduced to metal, the former helping, the latter hindering the catalysis. Of the oxides entering the space lattice, those causing most deformation, that is, whose diameters are further from that of ZnO, are most effective; FeO is most effective. The alkali and alkaline earth oxides, because of their basicity, promote not only the formation of MeOH, but of other organic products as well, especially higher alcohols.