# What would an overall reaction order of zero mean?

I am writing a lab report in which I have:

Crystal violet + OH- -> Some Product

I have determined the order relative to crystal violet to be 2 and the order relative to OH- to be -2 (I am almost positive this is erroneous, but I can't alter my data). This gives an overall order of 0. What does that mean exactly?

I know I can say that as C.V. doubles the reaction rate will quadruple. And as OH- doubles the reaction rate decreases by a factor of four.

The overall order in this case is not that meaningful. If your reaction is really (-2) order in hydroxide, it could be a reaction that requires two protons in steps leading up to the rate-determining step. Then, if you add hydroxide, your [H+] concentration goes down and your reaction gets slower. In other words, hydroxide is a second order *inhibitor*.

To say that the reaction is zero order overall and therefore the rate is independent of both reactants is totally wrong.

Let's say you have to protonate crystal violet in a preliminary equilibrium step. Then, the protonated crystal violet reacts in a rate-determining, biomolecular step (it reacts with itself somehow, or it dimerizes and then reacts). That would explain what you're seeing.
A reaction whose rate is independent of the concentration of reactants is a zero order reaction.

So, the rate of the reaction is independent of the concentrations of crystal violet as well as OH-.

And reg the reaction rates doubling and quadrupling,etc, go to the basic definition of a rate of a reaction.
The reaction rate or rate of reaction for a reactant or product in a particular reaction is intuitively defined as how fast a reaction takes place.

Refer to RATE EQUATION in this link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/reaction_ra...

U can pretty much explain why it happens.

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