Distinguish between order of a reaction and molecularity of a reaction?

The main difference between the order of a reaction and molecularity of a reaction are given below:



It is sum of the concentration terms on which the rate of reaction actually depends or it is the sum of the exponents of the concentrations in the rate law equation. It is the number of atoms, ions or molecules that must collide with one another simultaneously so as to result into a chemical reaction.
It need not be a whole number i.e. it can be fractional as well as zero. It is always a whole number.
It can be determined experimentally only and cannot be calculated. It can be calculated by simply adding the molecules of the slowest step.
It is for the overall reaction and no separate steps are written to obtain it. The overall molecularity of a complex reaction has no significance. It is only slowest step whose molecularity has significance for the overall reaction.
Even the order of a simple reaction may not be equal to the number of molecules of the reactants as seen from the unbalance equation. For simple reactions, the molecularity can usually be obtained from the Stoichiometry of the equation.

Category: Chemical Kinetics

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