I have read that if some different compounds undergo the same reaction and under the same conditions, but follow different overall kinetic orders, then their rate constants or relative reactivities cannot be compared. Is this true or am I mistaken?

For instance: the oxidation of alcohol X is second-order overall but the oxidation of alcohol Y (under the same conditions as alcohol X) is third-order overall. Can the rate constants or reactivities of alcohols X and Y be compared?

  • $\begingroup$ You can compare them, but not as 2 constant numbers. The comparison will not have the constant result, as it will depend on concentrations that cannot be mutually cancelled. $\endgroup$ – Poutnik Dec 22 '19 at 8:25
  • $\begingroup$ @Poutnik could you re-explain in simpler terms? Is it more desirable to have them as 2 constant numbers? $\endgroup$ – yazan Dec 22 '19 at 17:40
  • $\begingroup$ They are 2 constant numbers. But they are not directly comparable, if reactions are of different orders, similarly as the solubility product constants for binary and ternary salts. $\endgroup$ – Poutnik Dec 22 '19 at 20:19

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