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Another way to put it would be that there is a bottleneck at the slow step. For example if there are 3 steps in a reaction and step 2 is the slow step, it doesn't matter if step 1 and 3 are almost instantaneous as step 2 must finish occurring before step 3 which completes the reaction.
Celine Cheng 1H wrote:What would happen if you have 2 slow steps? Is the slower step still the determining rate? Is having more than 2 slow steps possible?
You can still have multiple "slow" reactants, but ultimately the slowest one will still determine the overall rate law.
(An extremely small bottleneck will still be a bottleneck for another small bottleneck)
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