Overall Rate Law

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Overall Rate Law

Postby Jaira_Murphy_2D » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:33 am

If I'm given a reaction mechanism with 2 steps I can just combine products on one side and reactants on the other side and cancel out like terms to get the overall reaction? And for a reaction mechanism with 3 or more steps, I have to use the pre-equilibrium approach?

Or, how do I know when to use the pre-equilibrium approach?

Joonsoo Kim 4L
Posts: 61
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:29 am

Re: Overall Rate Law

Postby Joonsoo Kim 4L » Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:43 am

Summing the elementary steps to get the overall reaction goes for any mechanism of any number of steps. If the sum matches with the overall chemical equation, the mechanism has satisfied one of the requirements of being a plausible mechanism for that reaction.

You use the pre-equilibrium approach when the slow step (the rate-determining step) contains an intermediate. You find the equilibrium in the fast step to then substitute the intermediate concentration in terms of the reactants that match the experimentally determined rate law.

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