HCHO is prepd. in high yield and selectivity by the dehydrogenation of MeOH in the presence of catalysts contg. metallic Na or >=1 Na compd. at 300-800 Deg. Na2CO3 was heated under H at 5 Deg/min and the temp. maintained during this heating process at 100 Deg, 500 Deg, 600 Deg, and 650 Deg for 3 h each, ending at 700 Deg, at which temp. the catalyst was maintained for 5 h. This catalyst (2 g) was charged into a reactor and contacted with 0.161 L/h of a 17% MeOH in N mixt., giving 20% MeOH conversion with HCHO formation in 65% selectivity. [on SciFinder (R)]