In the synthesis of EtOH and higher alcohols from CO and H2 mixtures under pressure, with or without addition of MeOH, there are employed as catalysts alkali salts of aliphatic acids such as formates, acetates, or propionates of K; Rb or Cs mixed with porous supports such as ZnO, pumice, magnesite, or silica; or MeOH-synthesis catalysts such as calcined Smithsonite. A temperature of 400°-420° and pressure of 250-300 atm. are suitable. Synthetic MeOH may be used for washing the reaction gases to remove CO2.
See also French Patent 683,320 (abs. 2502) and Swiss Patent 147,151 (abs. 2503).