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Successful reaction engineering of catalytic systems requires a fundamental understanding of the following chemical/physical forces and mechanistic events:

In every reaction engineering application, the chemical engineer is interested in understanding the [mechanism](Catalysis/Reactions and Mechanisms) of the given chemical reaction, as well as determining the [rate law](Catalysis/Rate Laws) and associated kinetic and thermodynamic parameters to quantify the rate of reaction. Once this information is known, the chemical engineer can begin the task of sizing a suitable chemical reactor (using an appropriate [mole balance](Catalysis/Mole Balance)), and/or determining the appropriate set of operating conditions [temperature, pressure, reactant concentration(s), time].