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When are we supposed to use the pre equilibrium approach? If there is an intermediate in the first step and the first step is also the slow step, would we need to use the pre-equilibrium approach to find the rate law and get rid of the intermediate?
You apply the pre-equilibrium approach when the mechanism has its first step as fast; this will create a "bottleneck" effect which results in a build-up of intermediates. You can then assume the first step reaction to be at an equilibrium, and use it to help you get rid of the intermediate concentrations in your slow-step rate law.
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