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.
If you can't find a tool you're looking for, please click the link at the top of the page to "Go to old article view". Alternatively, view our Knowledge Base articles for additional help. Your feedback is important to us, so please let us know if you have comments or ideas for improvement.