The Rate-Determining Step is Dead. Long Live the Rate-Determining State!

Authors

  • Dr. Sebastian Kozuch,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Organic Chemistry, The Weizmann Institute of Science, IL-76100 Rehovot (Israel), Fax: (+972) 8-934-4142
    • Department of Organic Chemistry, The Weizmann Institute of Science, IL-76100 Rehovot (Israel), Fax: (+972) 8-934-4142
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  • Prof. Jan M. L. Martin

    1. Center for Advanced Scientific Computing and Modeling (CASCAM), Department of Chemistry, University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203-5017 (USA)
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Abstract

The concept of a rate-determining step (RD-Step) is central to the kinetics community, and it is basic knowledge even for the undergraduate chemical student. In spite of this, too many different definitions of the RD-Step appear in the literature, all of them with drawbacks. This dilemma has been thoroughly studied by several authors in the attempt to “patch” the drawbacks and bring the RD-Step to a correct physical meaning. Herein we review with simple models the most notable definitions and some challengers of the RD-Step concept, to conclude with the deduction that there are no rate-determining steps, only rate-determining states.

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