Rates and Reversibilities in Interconnected Reaction Networks

Ting C. Lin, Neil K. Razdan, Aditya Bhan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Mathematical relations prescribing unidirectional forward and reverse rates originally derived based on single-path reaction sequences do not apply to interconnected reaction networks. The presence of branches in reaction networks, leading to alternative stable products, decreases unidirectional rates in reference to those calculated by single-path functional forms, as shown by simulated isotopic exchange rates, but impacts the unidirectional forward and reverse rates equally such that the functional form of effective reversibility remains unchanged. Regardless of stoichiometric numbers and network connectivity, the application of the pseudo-steady-state hypothesis on reactive intermediates in conjunction with consideration of unidirectional rates toward the product of interest and all alternative stable products results in mathematical expressions that accurately reflect simulated isotopic exchange rates. Further analyses based on kinetic resistance, a property akin to electrical resistance, illustrate the manifestation of nodal resistances in addition to the single-path kinetic resistance for interconnected reaction networks. The generalized formalism for assessing rates and reversibilities in interconnected networks derived herein enables us to demonstrate that unidirectional rates cannot be assessed solely from effective reversibilities and net rates of generation of stable species in such networks. However, isotopic exchange rates, under the condition that each elementary step in the overall reaction sequence forms a unique reactive intermediate that is consumed solely by the subsequent step, can be utilized to determine unidirectional rates and can serve to validate postulated reaction pathways in highly interconnected reaction networks (e.g., COx hydrogenation).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3100-3110
Number of pages11
JournalACS Catalysis
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 4 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under Grant No. CON-75851. Additional financial support was received from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Basic Energy Science, Catalysis Science Program (Award DE-SC00019028) and the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Chemical Society.


  • De Donder relation
  • interconnected network
  • isotopic tracing
  • reversibility
  • unidirectional rates


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