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Urea, also known as carbamide, is an organic compound with chemical formula CO(NH₂)₂. This amide has two –NH₂ groups joined by a carbonyl functional group. Urea serves an important role in the metabolism of nitrogen-containing compounds by animals and is the main nitrogen-containing substance in the urine of mammals. It is a colorless, odorless solid, highly soluble in water, and practically non-toxic. Dissolved in water, it is neither acidic nor alkaline. The body uses it in many processes, most notably nitrogen excretion. The liver forms it by combining two ammonia molecules with a carbon dioxide molecule in the urea cycle. Urea is widely used in fertilizers as a source of nitrogen and is an important raw material for the chemical industry.


– As a component of fertilizer and animal feed, providing a relatively cheap source of fixed nitrogen to promote growth.

– As a raw material for the manufacture of plastics specifically, urea-formaldehyde resin.

– As a raw material for the manufacture of various glues (urea-formaldehyde or urea-melamine-formaldehyde). The latter is waterproof and is used for marine plywood.

– As an alternative to rock salt in the deicing of roadways and runways. It does not promote metal corrosion to the extent that salt does.

– As an additive ingredient in cigarettes, designed to enhance flavour.

– Sometimes used as a browning agent in factory-produced pretzels.

– As an ingredient in some hair conditioners, facial cleansers, bath oils, and lotions.

– It is also used as a reactant in some ready-to-use cold compresses for first-aid use, due to the endohermic reaction it creates when mixed with water.



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