In the grand scheme of things, one would be inclined to think that physical biological waste would be the only thing worth saving in order to fertilize plants, with all its vitamins, minerals, and nutrients somewhat intact. However, physical waste's twin brother, liquid waste has been used as a fertilizer for over 200 years! Yes, Urea, the chemical byproduct of a quenching one's thirst after drinking far too much water. But what is actually known about Urea and how is it used in the agriculture industry?
Here is Siam Trading's 4-part guide to Urea – a resource that we can provide via our international trade connections. Do you have a need for large quantities of Urea? Contact the Sutlet Group for more information.
The facts about Urea
Urea, also called carbamide, is an organic chemical compound which essentially is the waste produced when the body metabolizes protein. It is a compound not only produced by humans but also by many other mammals, as well as amphibians and some fish. Urea was the first natural compound to be synthesized artificially using inorganic compounds— a scientific breakthrough. Urea was discovered in 1773 by the French chemist Hillaire Rouelle. In 1828, just 55 years after its discovery, it became the first organic compound to be synthetically formulated, this time by a German chemist named Friedrich Wöhler, one of the pioneers of organic chemistry.
Physical Forms of Urea
Commercially, fertilizer urea can be purchased as prills or as a granulated material. In the past, it was usually produced by dropping liquid urea from a "prilling tower" while drying the product. The prills formed a smaller and softer substance than other materials commonly used in fertilizer blends.
Today, though, considerable urea is manufactured as granules. Granules are larger, harder, and more resistant to moisture. As a result, granulated urea has become a more suitable material for fertilizer blends.
Advantages of Fertilizer Urea
- Urea can be applied to soil as a solid or solution or to certain crops as a foliar spray.
- Urea usage involves little or no fire or explosion hazard.
- Urea's high analysis, 46% N, helps reduce handling, storage and transportation costs over other dry N forms.
- Urea manufacture releases few pollutants to the environment.
- Urea, when properly applied, results in crop yield increases equal to other forms of nitrogen
Our guide to Urea continues with the next blog post “Incorporating Urea for Best Use”