Fully booked: Chemistry in the Urban Atmosphere: Faraday Discussion

6 - 8 April 2016, London, United Kingdom

While urban atmospheres vary considerably in composition, they are distinguished clearly from most rural and all remote atmospheres by their high primary pollutant loadings and relatively short timescales for reactions. Much of the recent research on urban air pollution has focused upon cities as a source of air pollutants to the regional and global atmosphere. This ignores the huge importance of urban air pollution in the context of human health, and the associated policy and scientific relevance of urban atmospheric chemistry studies to compliance with limit values for secondary pollutants (e.g. NO2 and particulate matter) and quantifying personal exposure to air pollution. With the increasing urbanisation of human populations, this topic is of ever-greater importance. In the regional and global atmosphere, processes with timescales of days can play an important role, whereas in the urban atmosphere, typical timescales are hours at most, and in some situations such as street canyons, typical residence times are of the order of minutes. Despite these relatively short timescales, important chemical changes can still take place in the urban atmosphere but are currently poorly captured by numerical models due to weak understanding of either the chemistry or atmospheric dynamics, or a lack of adequate spatial resolution. The latter is a key point as the global atmosphere is frequently rather well mixed in the vertical (at least within the boundary layer and within the free troposphere) whereas the urban atmosphere has very strong gradients of concentration because of a predominance of ground-level pollutant emissions, and for this reason, mixing processes may be as big a determinant of concentration as chemical reactivity.


  • Chemical Complexity of the Urban Atmosphere and its Consequences.  The urban atmosphere is hugely complex in chemical terms, but many of the constituents play little role in atmospheric chemistry on urban timescales. The session will therefore address which species determine compositional change within the urban atmosphere, what needs to be measured to constrain models and will also address issues concerning the formation of aerosols and their chemical and physical evolution within the urban atmosphere.
  • Timescales of Mixing and of Chemistry.  This session will focus on the relative timescales of mixing and of chemical processes.  Both advective (i.e., horizontal) and vertical mixing processes are important and fresh emissions can have major local influences which reduce with distance from source.  Pollutant travel times within the urban canopy are hard to predict and consideration needs to be given separately to within-canopy and above-canopy processes.
  • Urban Case Studies.  The lessons from past major studies of the urban atmosphere will be examined.  What have urban studies taught us about the special nature of urban atmosphere processes? What do measurement studies tell us about the scales of different processes in time and space? How do we best capture spatial variability in urban atmosphere studies?
  • Numerical Modelling Strategies for the Urban Atmosphere.  This will bring together information from the earlier sessions in order to address issues such as the optimal chemical complexity for a mechanism scheme, the scales of mixing which need to be considered and how to achieve adequate spatial resolution within urban models.  Data needs for model validation will also be discussed. 


This meeting aims to address both the key questions and the over-arching issues related to understanding chemistry in the urban atmosphere.


The Faraday Division have been organising high impact Faraday Discussions in rapidly developing areas of chemistry and its interfaces with other scientific disciplines for over 100 years. 

Faraday Discussions have a special format where research papers written by the speakers are distributed to all participants before the meeting, and most of the meeting is devoted to discussing the papers. Everyone contributes to the discussion - including presenting their own relevant research. The research papers and a record of the discussion are published in the journal Faraday Discussions. 

Poster Sessions

The joint winners of the Faraday Discussion Poster Prize were:
P20 Characterization of organic molecular markers in PM2.5 aerosol at an urban site in Sydney
Meng, Chuanping and Nelson, Peter. F
Macquarie Univeristy, Australia

P54 Ozonolysis of ultrasonically levitated droplets containing unsaturated carboxylic acids
Cabrera-Martinez, Edna Rocio; Ancill, Harry Josef; Rastogi, Kunal and Pfrang, Christian
University of Reading, United Kingdom

Abstract Submission

Oral Abstracts and Research Papers 

Submission now closed.
A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. Submit an oral/paper abstract if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation and associated published paper. The oral/paper abstract should outline current research in progress. Authors of the selected abstracts must then submit a full research paper with a significant amount of new, unpublished work by 16 November 2015. 

The research papers are reviewed upon submission and are sent to all delegates 4 weeks before the meeting so they can be read in advance. At the meeting the presenting author is allowed five minutes to highlight the main points of their paper, and the rest of the time is for discussion. The discussion is recorded and will be published alongside the research paper in the Faraday Discussion Volume. 

Poster Abstracts 

Submit your poster abstract by 25 January 2016. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting and a poster session is held on the first evening. The Faraday Division Poster Prize will be awarded to the best poster presented by a student at the conference. 

Bursaries are available for student and younger members of the Royal Society of Chemistry in the early stages of their career (typically within 5 years of completing a first or postgraduate degree). See the registration page for more details. 

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 6 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation. 
Registration includes:
  • Attendance at the sessions
  • Refreshments throughout the meeting
  • Lunch on Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 April
  • Attendance at the poster drinks reception on Wednesday 6 April
  • Attendance at the conference banquet on Thursday 7 April
  • A copy of the discussion pre-prints
  • A copy of the final theme issue of the Faraday Discussion containing papers presented at the Discussion (issued approximately 6 months after the meeting)**
  • For non-member registrants, membership of the RSC until the end of 2016   
Early bird
(by 15 February 2016)
(by 7 March 2016)
Members* £335 £385
Non-members £435 £485
Student members* £160 £210
Student non-members £185 £235

Registration fees are VAT exempt.

* If you are a Royal Society of Chemistry member and wish to register for this meeting, please select the member option on the online registration page. You will need to enter your membership number.

**Excluding student members, who can order the volume at a reduced price at the conference.

Student Delegates

In order to encourage undergraduate or postgraduate students to attend the Discussion, a reduced conference fee (to include a set of pre-prints but not the final Discussion Volume) is available. This fee applies to those undertaking a full time course for a recognised degree or a diploma at a university or equivalent institution.

A copy of the publication may be purchased at less than half price, only for orders placed at the meeting where an application form will be made available.

Conference Banquet

The conference banquet on Thursday 7 April is included in the registration fee.

Terms and Conditions for Events run by the Royal Society of Chemistry

There are a number of Royal Society of Chemistry bursaries available to student and younger members of the Royal Society of Chemistry in the early stages of their career (typically within 5 years of completing a first or postgraduate degree) who do not have support available from their employer or a research grant.
Applicants should be Royal Society of Chemistry members at the time of application and at the meeting for which the travel bursary is being given.
The bursary is £150 per applicant and funding is supplied by the Royal Society of Chemistry Travel Grant Scheme.
The application form which is available to download from this page should be completed and returned to the Events Team by email by the deadline.
Deadline for applications: 15 February 2016
Programme & pre-prints
The preprints are available to download from the Introduction section by session.
These are password protected downloads and only available to those who have registered for the meeting.

Presenting authors are indicated in the programme by an underline. The affiliation is for the presenting author. If the presenting author of your paper has changed since abstract selection please email events@rsc.org. Please note that this is a draft programme and timings may change.
A selection of sponsorship opportunities is available for companies who would like to promote their activities at Chemistry in the Urban Atmosphere: Faraday Discussion
As well as booking a table top exhibition space, there are opportunities to sponsor social events, advertise in the abstract book or place a promotional item in delegate packs. A sponsorship menu document is available to download from this page with more details and prices.
Please note that exhibition spaces are limited, spaces will be allocated on a first come first served basis.
If you would like more information about sponsoring Chemistry in the Urban Atmosphere: Faraday Discussion, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on solutions@rsc.org Sponsorship Menu
The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House

Royal Society of Chemistry, The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

Chemistry in the Urban Atmoshphere: Faraday Discussion will be held at the Royal Society of Chemistry at Burlington House, Piccadilly, London.
The Royal Society of Chemistry is accessible by walking through the courtyard off of Piccadilly. Upon entering the courtyard, the Royal Society of Chemistry is in the far right hand corner.
Burlington House is on the north side of Piccadilly midway between Piccadilly Circus and Green Park underground stations, opposite the Fortnum and Mason department store.
Underground - The nearest stations are Green Park or Piccadilly Circus.
Buses - Numbers 9, 14, 19, 22, 38 all stop near Burlington House.
Please note that accommodation is not included in the registration fee.

Accommodation in selected London hotels is available to book via our booking agent, Ellis Salsby. Please follow the link on this page to book.

Contact information
Events Department
Royal Society of Chemistry
+ 44 (0)1223 434048
Contact us by email

Events Team
Royal Society of Chemistry
01223 432509
Contact us by email

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