2398.     NATTA, G., AND STRADA, M.  [Synthesis of Alcohols Higher Than Methanol From Water Gas.]  Giorn. chim. ind. applicata, vol. 12, 1930, pp. 169-174; Chem. Zentralb., 1930, II, p. 659; Chem. Abs., vol. 24, 1930, p. 4505.

        In the presence of ZnO, active form made by calcining certain smithsonites at low temperature, together with alkali (K, Rb, Ce) carbonate, hydroxide, acetate or propionate, water gas, when heated to about 400 under high pressures, gives a mixture of higher alcohols free of CH4 and other hydrocarbons.  Metals of groups 4-8, as well as their oxides, should be excluded so as to avoid formation of undesirable byproducts, particularly hydrocarbons.  The formation of higher alcohols occurs in stages, MeOH being first formed, then MeOK, or Rb, Ce, then addition of CO2 to form the higher homolog.  These intermediate products were identified during the course of the reaction, and these can be added as additional catalysts, which retain their activity over long periods of time.