Close examination of the concept of the rate-determining step (RDS) shows that there are two types of RDS depending on the definition of ‘rate’. One is represented by the highest peak of the free-energy diagram of consecutive reactions and holds true where the rate is defined in terms of the concentration of the first reactant. The other is represented by the peak showing the maximum free-energy difference, where the free-energy difference is the height of a peak measured from the bottom of any preceding troughs, where the definition of the rate is in terms of the total reactant concentration including intermediates. There are no criteria a priori for selecting one of them.

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