What are the applications for urea ?

What are the applications for urea ?

Application of urea

  • It is used as a raw material for the production of urea-formaldehyde and urea-melamine-formaldehyde resins.
  • Urea is also used to produce plywood.
  • It is also used as a stabilizer for nitrocellulose explosives.
  • Urea has important uses as a fertilizer and food supplement, as well as a raw material for the production of plastic and medicine.
  • It is an element in diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) that contains 32.5% urea and 67.5% deionized water. DEF is injected into the exhaust stream of diesel vehicles to break down dangerous NOx emissions into harmless nitrogen and water.
  • A component of animal feed, it is a relatively inexpensive source of nitrogen to promote growth.
  • It is considered a non-corrosive alternative to rock salt for road de-icing. It is often the main ingredient in pet-friendly salt alternatives, although it is less effective than traditional rock salt or calcium chloride.
  • It is a main ingredient in the formulation of hair removal compounds such as Veet.
  • It is one of the reasons for the brown color in the cans produced in the factory.
  • It is an ingredient in some skin creams, moisturizers, hair conditioners and shampoos.
  • A flame retardant, commonly used in dry chemical fire extinguishing charges such as a mixture of urea and potassium bicarbonate.
  • It is an important ingredient in the formulation of many teeth whitening products
  • It is one of the raw materials for the production of dishwashing soap
  • It is used together with diammonium phosphate as a yeast nutrient to ferment sugars into ethanol.
  • Nutrient used by plankton in ocean feeding experiments for geoengineering purposes
  • It is used as an additive to increase the working temperature and opening time of skin glue.

  • It is used as an additive for solubility and moisture retention in dye baths for fabric dyeing or printing.
  • It is used as an optical parametric oscillator in nonlinear optics.

  • Urea is a raw material that is used in the manufacture of many chemicals such as various plastics, urea-formaldehyde resins and adhesives.

  • Also, industrial urea is necessary for the production of raw materials, glue, fertilizer, commercial products and resin production

Application of urea in agriculture

More than 90% of the world production of urea is intended for use as a nitrogen-releasing fertilizer. Urea has the highest amount of nitrogen among all solid nitrogen fertilizers in common use. The most common impurity is artificial urea biuret, which disrupts plant growth. Urea decomposes in the soil and gives ammonium. Ammonium is absorbed by the plant. In some soils, ammonium is oxidized by bacteria to nitrate, which is also a plant nutrient. The loss of nitrogenous compounds harms the atmosphere and waste runoff and the environment. For this reason, urea is sometimes pre-treated or modified to increase the efficiency of agricultural use. One of these technologies is controlled release fertilizers that contain encapsulated urea in an inert seal. Another technology is the conversion of urea into derivatives such as formaldehyde, which decomposes into ammonia at a rate corresponding to plant nutrition. The best way to use urea in agricultural products is to mix it with water. Because urea dissolves easily in water. Therefore, with uniform irrigation by mechanized irrigation devices, it is possible to feed the plant to the required amount. Due to the high nitrogen content of urea, it easily turns into soil. Therefore, it is widely used to prepare fertilizers. The way of using agricultural urea is in such a way that they either put it in the soil or pour it on the leaves. It is necessary to know that urea nitrogen is non-protein, but it can be used in the feed of ruminant animals such as sheep and cattle. Urea fertilizer can also be used in crops, cereals, wheat or other small grains. Therefore, it should be done in cold seasons, because due to heat and heat, urea destroys ammonia, and if it is done in summer, it should happen when there is a high probability of rain.  

Application of urea in car systems

Urea reaction is used in selective non-catalytic reduction (SNCR) and selective catalytic reduction (SCR) reactions to reduce NOx pollutants in exhaust gases from combustion of diesel, dual fuel and natural gas engines. For example, the BlueTec system injects a water-based urea solution into the exhaust system. Ammonia produced by hydrolysis of urea reacts with the release of nitrogen oxide and is converted into nitrogen and water in a catalytic converter. Trucks and cars that use these catalytic converters need to carry diesel exhaust fluid, a solution of urea in water.

The use of urea in laboratory applications

Urea in concentrations of up to 10 ml is a powerful protein in the body, because it disrupts the non-covalent bonds of proteins. This property can be used to increase the solubility of some proteins. A mixture of urea and choline chloride is used as a deep eutectic solvent (DES), a substance similar to an ionic liquid. When used in a deep eutectic solvent, urea does not destroy dissolved proteins. Urea can in principle act as a source of hydrogen for subsequent electricity generation in fuel cells. Urea in urine/sewage can be used directly (although bacteria degrade urea rapidly.) Hydrogen production by electrolysis of urea solution occurs at a lower voltage (0.37 V) and therefore less energy than electrolysis. It consumes water (1.2 V). Urea at a concentration of up to 8 mM can be used to make fixed brain tissue transparent to visible light while preserving fluorescent signals from labeled cells. This allows for deeper imaging of neural processes than was previously achievable using conventional single-photon or two-photon microscopy.


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