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Reaction mechanisms in catalysis: Faraday Discussion

17 - 19 February 2021, United Kingdom


The Royal Society of Chemistry are pleased to announce that this event will be moving online. This web page will be updated over the coming weeks with more details. If you have any questions please contact us at


Join us online in February 2021 for this addition to our Faraday Discussion series. For over 100 years and 300 meetings, Faraday Discussions have been the forefront of physical chemistry. Many of these Discussions have become landmark meetings in their field.
We invite you to join us to discuss the topic of Reaction mechanisms in catalysis and make your contribution to this cutting-edge dialogue alongside leaders in this field.
This meeting is for established and early career scientists, post-graduate students and industrial researchers interested in the key aspects of reaction mechanism studies and how this can drive rational design of catalysts. Given that the reaction mechanisms of many commercial processes although successfully operated, are still a matter of debate and controversy, the unique format of the Faraday Discussions will allow for in-depth discussions and opportunities to establish new collaborations.
On behalf of our committee, we look forward to welcoming you at the Discussion online.

Justin Hargreaves
Chair, Reaction mechanisms in catalysis


The Royal Society of Chemistry is keen to encourage and enable as many people as possible to attend our events, to benefit from the networking opportunities and the chance to hear talks from leaders in the field. If you would like to discuss accessibility, please contact us to discuss your requirements so that we can enable your attendance.

Format of the Discussion

Faraday Discussions remain amongst the only conferences to distribute the speakers’ research papers in advance, allowing the majority of each meeting to be devoted to discussion in which all delegates can participate.  Following each meeting a written record of the discussion is published alongside the papers in the Faraday Discussions journal. 

Find out more about the Faraday Discussions in this video


Heterogeneous catalysis is a core area of contemporary physical chemistry posing major fundamental and conceptual challenges. Catalysis lies at the heart of the chemical industry - an immensely successful and important part of the overall UK economy, and catalysis plays a crucial part in the production of 80% of all manufactured goods. Catalysis is a major theme in chemical sciences and engineering that underlies much of the key research and teaching in these subjects.
The reaction mechanisms of many commercial processes although successfully operated, are still a matter of debate and controversy, e.g. methanol synthesis and Fischer Tropsch catalysts. Hence there is now the opportunity to focus a Faraday Discussion concerning key aspects of reaction mechanism studies and how this can drive rational design of catalysts.
The Faraday Discussion will be organised into the following themes:
Theory and reaction mechanisms
Modern theoretical methods are now playing a central role in understanding reaction mechanism and are starting to enable catalyst design. This is an exciting topic to open the discussion, as there remain several technical and scientific challenges.
Challenges of using advanced characterisation methods for in situ reaction mechanism studies
The use of photon  and neutron sources (synchrotron, neutrons and lasers) have fast become significant in determining the active sites of catalysts which is a key requisite for understanding reaction mechanisms. The session will explore new opportunities including those arising from Free Electron Laser (FEL) sources and in situ methods and reaction mechanisms. The latest techniques in which catalysts are interrogated under realistic reaction conditions have led to major discoveries and this will be a key topic for discussion, including developments in spatial and temporal resolution which will be needed in developing mechanistic understanding.
Opportunities for understanding reaction mechanisms under flow conditions
Most commercial catalysts are operated under flow conditions and reaction mechanism studies require a substantial array of advanced techniques and often show key differences from batch reaction studies. This session will discuss how studying reaction mechanisms under flow conditions can benefit from modern methodology.
Dynamic catalytic systems on the border of heterogeneous/homogeneous catalysis
Application of nanoparticle catalysts in fine organic synthesis is the central topic for development of efficient synthetic procedures for producing drugs and pharmaceutical substances. This highly valuable research area is demanded in the pharma industry. In this session we will discuss fundamental topics on dynamics of catalytic systems, effect of leaching on stability and activity of nanoparticle catalysts.
Abstract Submission

Poster submission has been closed

Poster Abstracts 

Submit your poster abstract by 6 January 2021. 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.

As this event is being held as online, we will be using a dedicated online poster platform. If your poster is accepted for this event, you will receive an email from us inviting you log on to the poster platform where you will be able to create an interactive poster. When creating a poster you will be able to choose from a variety of templates, and select colours, backgrounds and fonts, to create a poster specific to your work. The poster can contain text, images, videos and audio recordings, and can include as much detail as you require as content boxes within the templates are not limited to size. You will also have access to video tutorials, showing you how you can create your poster in the platform, and access to email support with the poster platform if you have an specific questions. 

Oral Abstracts and Research Papers

A full research paper containing new unpublished results always accompanies oral presentations at Faraday Discussions. Submit an oral/paper abstract by 1 July 2019 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 9 December 2019.

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.  

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.

Please note that registration is closed

Please read the registration information before registering.

For non-member registrants attending this event, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry is available until the end of 2021, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event.

Registration includes:
  • Attendance at the virtual sessions
  • Attendance at the poster session
  • Attendance at the networking sessions
  • A copy of the discussion pre-prints
Regsitration fees are as follows (subject to VAT at the prevaling rate):


(3 February2021)

Members* £55
Non-members £75
Student members* £15
Student non-members £25

 The registration fees are 15% of what the physical rate would have been. 

* If you are an 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.

**For non-member registrants, affiliate membership of the Royal Society of Chemistry until the end of 2021 is available, the affiliate membership application will be processed and commence once the registrant has attended the event. 

Faraday Discussion publication

A copy of the final theme issue of the Faraday Discussion volume containing papers presented at the Discussion (issued approximately 5 months after the meeting) is not included in the registration fee. A copy of the volume may be purchased at less than half price, this discounted price is only available to Discussion delegates when ordering during the registration process.   

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

Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities is available for companies who would like to promote their activities at the 2021 Faraday Discussion series

There are opportunities available to become the Faraday Discussion series sponsor,  Research & Development partner or Poster prize series sponsor as well as some individual meeting options. 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 the 2021 Faraday Discussion series, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on Sponsorship Menu

United Kingdom

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