Chemical reactions – in particular decomposition and degradation reactions – are often too complex to be described by simple parameters according to Arrhenius that are commonly applied set of reaction models (eg. first or n-th order).

As a general rule, these reactions demonstrate profoundly multi-step characteristics. They can involve several processes with different activation energies and mechanisms. In such situation the reaction rate can be described only by complex equations, where the activation energy term is no more constant but is dependent on the reaction progress α (E ≠ const but E = E(α)).

The isoconversional methods were introduced by Friedman and Ozawa-Flynn-Wall. The convergence of the activation energy values obtained by means of a differential method (Friedman) with those resulted from using integral methods (Ozawa-Flynn-Wall) comes from the fundamentals of the differential and integral calculus. Consult the chapter kinetic analysis for additional explanations.

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