In the hydrogenation or extraction of by-products from organic substances at high temperatures and pressures, the gases or liquids, or both, used are those which are already heated and compressed during industrial operations such as exothermic synthesizing reactions such as the production of methanol from hydrogen and carbon monoxide in a catalytic process. Gases from this reaction may be passed upwardly through a digester packed with pine wood while liquid from the same catalytic process is passed downwardly through the material. The issuing liquid contains methanol, pine oil, acetone, isopropyl alcohol, and acetic acid. The gases contain additional hydrogen, carbon monoxide, methane, ethylene, and its homologs which are condensed upon the catalyser to liquid hydrocarbons. Petroleum oils and coal may be treated similarly.