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ERIC Number: EJ825621
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0009-2479
Quick and Easy Rate Equations for Multistep Reactions
Savage, Phillip E.
Chemical Engineering Education, v42 n4 p211-217 Fall 2008
Students rarely see closed-form analytical rate equations derived from underlying chemical mechanisms that contain more than a few steps unless restrictive simplifying assumptions (e.g., existence of a rate-determining step) are made. Yet, work published decades ago allows closed-form analytical rate equations to be written quickly and easily for arbitrarily large multistep reaction mechanisms (catalyzed or uncatalyzed) that meet a few common criteria. This approach to writing general rate equations was developed by using linear algebra to solve the set of n simultaneous algebraic equations that arise from application of the quasi-stationary-state approximation to the n reactive intermediates in the reaction system. This article describes the methods, illustrates their application, and discusses the author's experience teaching these techniques. (Contains 3 figures and 1 table.)
Chemical Engineering Education, Chemical Engineering Division of ASEE. P.O. Box 142097, Gainesville FL 32614. Tel: 352-392-0861; Fax: 352-392-0861; e-mail:; Website:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A