This work investigates the use of the bulk carbides Mo2C, WC, and NbC as catalysts for the conversion of syngas into higher alcohols. K2CO3/WC produces mainly CH3OH and CH4 with a low activity. NbC has a very low activity in CO hydrogenation. K2CO3/Mo2C produces mixed alcohols with a reasonable activity and selectivity. In a 94 h test the activity and the specific surface area of the K2CO3/Mo2C catalyst decreased significantly, but X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy did not indicate a strong sintering of the carbide. A likely cause for the deactivation is the formation of carbonaceous deposits on the catalyst. At the same general activity level Li, K, and Cs provide similar promotional effects for Mo2C, although K at a loading level of alkali metal/Mo = 0.164 mol/mol provides the better behavior at equal conditions. The effect of further additives on the K2CO3/Mo2C system was evaluated, but only Cu yielded an improvement.