Carbamide (urea) (CO(NH₂)₂)

Carbamide (urea) (CO(NH₂)₂)

An organic compound in the urine of mammals, used in the production of fertilizers as a source of nitrogen.

Chemistry

Keywords

carbamide, diaminomethanal, amide, urine, urea, fertilizer, defrosting, plastics, protein metabolism, aminoplasts, chemistry

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Carbamide CO(NH₂)₂

Information

Molar mass: 60.06 g/mol

Melting point: 132.8 °C (271.04 °F)

Heat of combustion: -635.0 kJ/mol

Properties

Carbamide is a colorless, odorless, crystalline material. It dissolves well in water, methanol, glycerol and ethanol with a neutral pH, but it does not dissolve in chloroform or ether. During its oxidation with nitric acid, it breaks down into carbon-dioxide, water and nitrogen. When heated with acids and bases, carbon-dioxide and ammonia is formed from it.

Occurrence and production

Carbamide can be found in the urine of mammals. An adult human produces about 20-30 g (0.705-1.058 oz) of carbamide in urine. In 1828 Friedrich Wöhler synthesized carbamide from inorganic substances. This represented counterevidence for the vitalist hypothesis that only organisms could synthesize organic compounds.

In industrial quantities carbamide is produced in a reaction of a liquefied mixture of ammonia and carbon-dioxide gas, where ammonium carbamate is formed. Carbamide can be synthesized by heating ammonium carbamate.

Uses

Carbamide is used in large quantities for the production of chemical fertilizers, plastics, adhesives, medicines and cosmetic preparations.

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