Other than determining whether reactants' concentrations can affect the rate, what purpose does it serve? Does it have any real world application in chemistry research? Also what is the point of knowing that a reaction is "second-order"?


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    $\begingroup$ If you want to produce something in large scale, you may benefit from knowing how the reaction is affected by temperature, pressure, etc.. Besides, knowing which other reactions can occur may help you achieve a certain degree of optimisation in your process. So knowing kinetics may mean making more money in this case. $\endgroup$ – Felipe S. S. Schneider Jan 29 '17 at 11:40

Suppose you want to design an industrial scale continuous flow chemical reactor to produce some product stream from a set of feed streams. You need to determine how big to make the reactor so that enough product is produced, given the reactant flow rates that you are feeding. To figure this out, it's pretty important to know the rates of the reactions occurring within the reactor. It's also important to know the amount of heat you have to add or remove from the reactor to keep it operating properly. This is also determined by the reaction rates.

Another example is in atmospheric science where you need to know the rates of chemical reactions (including photolytic) occurring in the atmosphere so that you can quantitatively evaluate problems such as fluorocarbon/ozone and global warming.

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