The presently-disclosed subject matter includes methods for producing liquid hydrocarbons from syngas. In some embodiments the syngas is obtained from biomass and/or comprises a relatively high amount of nitrogen and/or carbon dioxide. In some embodiments the present methods can convert syngas into liquid hydrocarbons through a one-stage process. Also provided are catalysts for producing liquid hydrocarbons from syngas, wherein the catalysts include a base material, a transition metal, and a promoter. In some embodiments the base material includes a zeolite-iron material or a cobalt-molybdenum carbide material. In still further embodiments the promoter can include an alkali metal.