Preface for Special Issue in Celebration of the 3rd UK Catalysis Conference (UKCC)
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Herein, we present a selection of articles submitted in relation to the 3rd UK Catalysis Conference (UKCC) held in Loughborough from the 4th–6th January 2017. We choose this 3rd conference to solicit contributions in order mark the hat-trick of occasions on which the UK Catalysis community has thronged (the event has always been oversubscribed) together just after the Christmas break to hear and discuss the breakthroughs in the last year or to hear of new revelations and concepts from the leading lights of the discipline from these shores and beyond. It is probably fair to say that part of the success in attracting such a good turnout is the timing of this event i.e. before getting into the throes of the day-to-day that the new year brings. So it is the premier event in the UK catalysis symposium calendar in terms of both timing and attendance. It plays an important role in supporting the endeavours of the UK Catalysis Hub a 4-year old initiative whose ambition it is to (better) establish the catalysis community to ensure it remains a stronghold of UK research excellence in the near and distant future, to realise the impact of catalysis research by its many stakeholders and to nurture the next generation of talent. We nod our heads in acknowledgement that the inspiration for this project originated from our neighbouring European counterparts and our hope is that the UK can emulate them in creating a similarly vibrant network.
In that regard we received a lot of excellent contributions covering a gamut of subjects including biomass conversion (Review on catalytic cleavage of C–C bonds in Lignin derivatives by Guadix and Sankar), bulk chemicals (butadiene hydrogenation by Decarolis et al. and Ethylene trimerisation catalysts by Lamb et al.), CO oxidation (Stavrakakis and Poulidi) CO2 to methanol (Bahruji et al.), characterisation of CoRe catalysts for ammonia synthesis (Mathisen et al.) electrocatalysis using perovskites for oxygen reduction (Celorrio et al. and Sharpe et al.) and for the oxidation of alcohols (Puthiyapura et al.), hydrogen generation from formic acid (Sanchez et al.), operando studies on SCR and DME conversion (Greenaway et al. and Howe et al.) and last but not least an investigation of Mutase-like Activity in a Phenylalanine Ammonia Lyase (Weise et al.). From these contributions we note that: (a) the subjects covered are very topical and the manuscripts, herein, clearly contribute new results and ideas to some very active dialogue; (b) the majority of manuscripts were multi-institutional in nature, often involving European and/or global contributions again underlining the community-focused approach that catalysis research (and for that matter research in general) promotes and enjoys. As such we think that there is much to be celebrated here in this special issue and we hope that you the reader are able to immerse and ‘lose yourself’ and enjoy these efforts as much as we did.
Andrew M. Beale