Combining simulation to nonlinear fitting for the determination of rate constants of elementary reactions by using Excel spreadsheets


  • Ammar M. Tighezza
  • Daifallah M. Aldhayan
  • Nouir A. Aldawsari



Numerical integration, Coupled ODE’s, Nonlinear regression, Complex mechanisms, Chemical kinetics,


A common problem in chemistry is to determine parameters (constants) in an equation used to represent experimental data. Examples are fitting a set of data to a model equation (straight line or curve) to obtain unknown parameters. In chemical kinetics, a set of data is usually a number of concentrations versus time, but the model equation is not well defined! Instead of a well defined model equation we have a set of coupled ODE’s (ordinary differential equations) which represent rate equations for reactants and products. The analytical integration of these ODE’s is rarely possible. The numerical integration is the alternative. In this work are combined the simulation of chemical reactions, by using numerical integration, and nonlinear regression (curve fitting) by using “Solver add-in” of Microsoft Excel to find rate constants of elementary reactions from experimental data. This method is illustrated on three complex mechanisms. The simulation of chemical reactions in Excel spreadsheets is illustrated with/without VBA programming. The automation (automatic obtaining of rate equations from mechanism: no need of chemical kinetics knowledge from the end user!) of mechanism simulation is demonstrated on many example.


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