urea

Urea, also known as carbamide, is an organic compound with chemical formula CO₂. 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. Friedrich Wöhler discovered that urea can be produced from inorganic starting materials, which was an important conceptual milestone in chemistry in 1828.

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