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.

Session 2: Timescales of Mixing and of Chemistry

Session Chair: Francis Pope
09:00 Ozone Production Chemistry in the Presence of Urban Plumes
William H Brune, Bianca Baier, Jordan Thomas, Xinrong Ren, Ronald Cohen, Sally Pusede, Eleanor Browne, Allen Goldstein, Drew Gentner, Frank Keutsch, Joel Thornton, Sara Harrold, Felipe Lopez-Hilfiker, Paul Wennberg
Pennsylvania State University
09:05 On the interpretation of in situ HONO observations via photochemical steady state
Leigh Crilley, Louisa Kramer, Francis D. Pope, Lisa Whalley, Danny Cryer, Dwayne Heard, James Lee, Christopher Reed and William Bloss
University of Birmingham
09:10 Exploring the nitrous acid (HONO) formation mechanism in winter Beijing: direct emissions and heterogeneous production in urban and suburban areas
Siqi Hou, Ying Zhang, Shengrui Tong, Maofa Ge, Biwu Chu, Yongchun Liu, Hong He, And Pusheng Zhao
Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
09:15 OH reactivity in urban and suburban regions in Seoul, South Korea- An East Asian megacity in a rapid transition
Saewung Kim, Dianne Sanchez, Mark Wang, Roger Seco, Daun Jeong, Stacey Hughes, Barbara Barletta, Donald Blake, Jinsang Jung, Deugsoo Kim, Gangwoong Lee, Meehye Lee, Joonyoung Ahn, Sang-Deok Lee, Gangnam Cho, Min-Young Sung, Yong-Hwan Lee, Dan Bi Kim, Younha Kim, Jung-Hun Woo, Duseong Jo, Rokjin Park, Jeong-Hoo Park, You-Deog Hong and Ji-Hyung Hong
University of California, Irvine, USA
09:20 Discussion
11:00 Morning tea

Session 3: Urban Case Studies

Session Chair: Urs Baltensperger
11:30 Urban particulate matter pollution: A tale of five cities
Spyros Pandis, Ksakousti Skyllakou, Kalliopi Florou, Evangelia Kostenidou, Erion Hasa and Albert Presto
Carnegie Mellon University
11:35 Regional air quality in Leipzig, Germany: Detailed source apportionment of size-resolved aerosol particles and comparison with the year 2000
Dominik van Pinxteren, Khanneh Wadinga Fomba, Yoshiteru Iinuma, Konrad Müller, Gerald Spindler, Gunter Löschau, Andrea Hausmann, Laurent Poulain and Hartmut Herrmann
TROPOS Leipzig, Germany
11:40 Discussion
12:30 Lunch
13:30 The “Parade Blue”: effects of short-term emission control on aerosol chemistry
Qiang Zhang, Haiyan Li, Kebin He
Tsinghua University
13:35 Secondary organic aerosol origin in an urban environment. Influence of biogenic and fuel combustion precursors
María Cruz Minguillón, Noemí Pérez, Nicolas Marchand, Amélie Bertrand, Brice Temime-Roussel, Konstantinos Agrios, Sönke Szidat, Barend van Drooge, Alexandre Sylvestre, Andrés Alastuey, Cristina Reche, Anna Ripoll, Esther Marco, Joan Grimalt, Xavier Querol
Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA), CSIC, Barcelona, Spain
13:40 The relative importance of tailpipe and non-tailpipe emissions on the oxidative potential of ambient particles in Los Angeles, CA
Sina Hasheminassab, Farimah Shirmohammadi, Dongbin Wang, Martin M Shafer, James J Schauer, Ralph Delfino,  and Constantinos Sioutas
University of Southern California, USA
13:45 Oxidative potential of size-fractionated atmospheric aerosol in urban and rural sites across Europe
Martin Shafer, Jocelyn Hemming, Dagmara Antkiewicz and James Schauer
University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison Wisconsin USA
13:50 Discussion
15:30 Afternoon tea
16:00 Twenty years of ambient observations of nitrogen oxides and specified hydrocarbons in air masses dominated by traffic emissions in Germany
Christian Ehlers, Dieter Klemp, Franz Rohrer, Djuro Mihelcic, Robert Wegener, Astrid Kiendler-Scharr and Andreas Wahner
Research Centre Jülich, Germany
16:05 Have vehicle emissions of primary NO2 peaked?
David C. Carslaw, Tim P. Murrells, Jon Andersson and Matthew Keenan
Ricardo-AEA, University of York, UK
16:10 Spatially resolved flux measurements of NOx from London suggest significantly higher emissions than predicted by inventories
James D. Lee, Alastair C. Lewis Adam R. Vaughan, Marvin D. Shaw, Ruth M. Purvis, David C. Carslaw, C. Nicholas Hewitt, Pawel K. Misztal, Allen, H. Goldstein, Stefan Metzger, Sean D. Beevers, Karl Thomas and Brian Davison
University of York, UK
16:15 Discussion
17:30 Poster session (EVEN NUMBERED POSTERS ONLY) and drinks reception
18:45 Close of sessions and walk to the Royal Society
19:00 Conference Dinner (Royal Society)

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.

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