Fischer–Tropsch Synthesis (FTS) constitutes catalytic technology that converts synthesis gas to synthetic liquid fuels and chemicals. While synthesis gas can be obtained from any carbonaceous feedstock, current industrial FTS operations are almost exclusively based on natural gas. Due to the energy structure of China where cheap coal is abundant, coal to liquids (CTL) technology involving coal gasification, FTS and syncrude upgrading is increasingly being considered as a viable option to convert coal to clean transportation fuels. In this brief paper, we review some pertinent issues about Fe- and Co-based FTS catalysts. Fe is better suited to convert synthesis gas derived from coal gasification into fuels. The authors limit themselves to noting some important trends in the research on Fe-based catalysts. They focus on the preparation of phase-pure carbides and innovative cheap synthesis methods for obtaining active and stable catalysts. These approaches should be augmented by (1) computational investigations that are increasingly able to predict not only mechanism, reaction rates and selectivity but also optimum catalyst composition, as well as (2) characterization of the catalytic materials under conditions close to the operation in real reactors.