Catalysis for fuels: Concluding Remarks
The 2017 Faraday Discussion on the topic of “Catalysis for Fuels” was unique in the sense that it was the first Faraday Discussion to be held on the continent of Africa. “Catalysis” and “Fuels” are both topics that could be widely interpreted and the session topics proved to be a relevant spread of old and new i.e. Fischer–Tropsch chemistry, biomass refining, zeolite conversions and photocatalysis. Most of the papers were underpinned by fundamental studies, catalyst design approaches, reports of in operando characterization and detailed speciation and micro kinetic analyses. Examples of commercial application were offered under the headings of biomass conversion, Fischer–Tropsch and to some extent photocatalysis. Cognisance was given to the increasingly important role of catalytic metals in terms of scarcity, cost and environmental impact. The potential role of novel alloys in addressing some of the catalytic mechanistic challenges turned out to be one of the central themes during the discussions. The following remarks are an attempt to draw parallels between the topics under discussion and the author’s subjective view of current universal questions that could/should be highlighted under the “Catalysis for Fuels” heading.