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rate-determining step (rate-limiting step)

These terms are best regarded as synonymous with rate-controlling step. However, other meanings that have been given to them should be mentioned, as it is necessary to be aware of them in order to avoid confusion. Sometimes the term rate-determining is used as a special case of rate-controlling, being assigned only to an initial slow step which is followed by rapid steps. Such a step imposes an upper limit on the rate, and has also been called rate-limiting. In view of the considerable danger of confusion when special meanings are applied to rate-determining and rate-limiting, it is recommended that they be regarded as synonymous, with the meaning explained under the entry rate-controlling step.
PAC, 1994, 66, 1077 (Glossary of terms used in physical organic chemistry (IUPAC Recommendations 1994)) on page 1157
See also:
PAC, 1996, 68, 149 (A glossary of terms used in chemical kinetics, including reaction dynamics (IUPAC Recommendations 1996)) on page 183
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IUPAC. Compendium of Chemical Terminology, 2nd ed. (the "Gold Book"). Compiled by A. D. McNaught and A. Wilkinson. Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford (1997). XML on-line corrected version: (2006-) created by M. Nic, J. Jirat, B. Kosata; updates compiled by A. Jenkins. ISBN 0-9678550-9-8.
Last update: 2014-02-24; version: 2.3.3.
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