active site

in heterogeneous catalysis
The term is often applied to those sites for adsorption which are the effective sites for a particular heterogeneous catalytic reaction. The terms active site and active centre are often used as synonyms, but active centre may also be used to describe an ensemble of sites at which a catalytic reaction takes place.
PAC, 1976, 46, 71. 'Manual of Symbols and Terminology for Physicochemical Quantities and Units - Appendix II. Definitions, Terminology and Symbols in Colloid and Surface Chemistry. Part II: Heterogeneous Catalysis' on page 77 (
See also:
PAC, 1992, 64, 143. 'Glossary for chemists of terms used in biotechnology (IUPAC Recommendations 1992)' on page 145 (