2456.     NEWTON, R. H., AND DODGE, B. F.  Equilibrium Among Carbon Monoxide, Hydrogen, Formaldehyde, and Methanol.  I.  The Reactions CO+H2=HCHO and H2+HCHO=CH3OH.  Jour. Am. Chem. Soc., vol. 55, 1933, p. 4747-4759; Chem. Abs., vol. 28, 1934, p. 955.

        Trace of CH2O is synthesized from CO and H2 over a Cu-Zn catalyst at 225-250 and 3 atm.; the equilibrium approached from both sides give log Kp=(374/T)-5,431 approximately CH2O is readily hydrogenated at 120-200 and 1 atm. over various Cu-alloy and other catalysts, but Os, Pt and pure Zn are inactive:  log Kp=(4,600/T)-6,470 approximately.  A change in the composition or structure of the catalyst has a marked effect on the nature and amount of side reaction.  Ni catalysts promoting decomposition of CH2O, while some Cu catalysts yield 53-72% HCO2Me.  Conclusion:  Direct thermal synthesis of CH2O is not feasible; its production from MeOH requires a temperature of 400.