Gaseous hydrocarbons obtained by the destructive distillation of carbonaceous materials are simultaneously desulfurized and hydrogenated by passing them at 350 to 500/sup 0/C, mixed with carbon monoxide and water vapor over lime mixed with metallic oxides present in sufficient amount to absorb the carbon dioxide as it is formed. Oxides of iron, copper, silver, cobalt, and metals of the rare earths may be used and are mixed with the lime to form a filling material of small pieces filling the reaction vessel which may have walls metallized with copper and zinc dust. The products are condensed and fixed with absorbents, e.g. oils, activated carbon, silica gels. The metallic masses may be regenerated by a hot air stream and by heating in inert gases.