Manufacturing of Urea: Process, Preparation, & Applications of Urea

Manufacturing of Urea

Urea is an organic chemical compound that is also referred often as Carbamide. It is typically produced to be stored as a solid, frequently in shape and form of prills and granules. These urea granules are extremely soluble in water hence it is much easier to form their solutions at differing concentrations. These solutions can also be stored if required. It has an extremely high nitrogen content.

Urea is naturally produced in the body and disposed of as a natural cyclic procedure of excretion by Kidneys. Urea assists bring waste nitrogen out of the body.+

Historically urea is a considerable chemical substance because it was the very first natural chemical which is naturally discovered in the human body to be synthesized utilizing inorganic chemicals in a laboratory by Friedrich Wöhler.

Due to this achievement, some individuals describe him as the father of organic chemistry.

Manufacturing Process

The raw products which are utilized in the urea production procedure are ammonia and CO2 hence normally urea is made in an ammonia plant due to the fact that it yields ammonia as a product and carbon dioxide as a by-product and this CO2 can be used straight for producing urea. Two reactions are primarily associated with the process:

The reaction of Ammonia and CO2to form Ammonium Carbamate.

2NH3 + CO2 → NH2COONH4

Preparation of Urea

Dehydration of ammonium carbamate gives urea.

NH2COONH4→ H2O + NH2CONH2 (urea)

Liquid ammonia is pumped and CO2 is compressed and carried to equipment called a reaction chamber. Given that this is where the reaction takes place, it is the heart of the process. The pressure and temperature level are kept at 14 Mpa and 170-190 ° C for the first reaction to occur. The reaction of ammonia and CO2 is highly exothermic in nature. The majority of the heat released is used in form of process steam wherever it is needed to process.

The conversion of the reactants to urea can be increased by increasing the amount of CO2, if CO2 is present in excess then the conversion can be as high as 85% per pass however enhancing for the proper temperature level, pressure and design is a difficulty in itself thus usually per pass conversion are kept around 50%. The unreacted materials are recycled resulting in a general conversion of over 99%. This minimizes the effects on the environment.


The concentration of Urea Solution

The urea solution is concentrated in an evaporation chamber where water is vaporized by heating with steam under vacuum in two evaporation stages whereby 99.7% urea melt is obtained. It is then pumped into the prilling tower.


The molten urea is passed through nozzles inside the prilling tower. Compressed air is passed in the tower so that its flow is counter-current with respect to that of molten urea. The urea gets solidified in the prilling tower and air assists in shaping it in the form of prills or granules. The urea is then kept and ready to be sold and used.

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Applications of Urea
  • More than 90 percent of world urea production is destined for use as a nitrogen-release fertilizer. Urea has the greatest nitrogen content of all solid nitrogenous fertilizers in common use (46.7%). For that reason, it has the lowest transportation expenses per unit of nitrogen nutrient.
  • Urea is a basic material utilized in the manufacture of numerous essential chemicals, such as:
  1. Different plastics, especially the Urea-formaldehyde resins.
  2. Numerous adhesives, such as Urea-formaldehyde or urea-melamine-formaldehyde utilized in marine plywood.
  3. Potassium cyanate, another industrial feedstock.
  4. Urea nitrate, a dynamite.
Other commercial uses are:
  • A stabilizer in nitrocellulose dynamite.
  • A component of animal feed, offering a fairly low-cost source of nitrogen to promote development.
  • A flame-proofing agent, commonly utilized in dry chemical fire extinguisher charges such as the urea-potassium bicarbonate mix.
  • A component in dish soap.
  • Urea is utilized in topical skin-related medicines to promote rehydration of the skin.
  • Urea is a safe, non-corrosive fertilizer alternative for de-icing.
Environmental pollution due to urea manufacturing

Urea production might trigger a number of environmental pollution issues. These problems happen due to bad maintenance of the plant, leaking of toxic products to the natural environment, and more.

Ammonia is a very toxic gas. Ammonia gas can be dripped from the urea factory to air or water if the plant is not kept efficiently. It can cause health problems for people and animals. Ammonia can be oxidized to oxides of nitrogen.

If the coral is used to get limestone, it is triggered by coastal disintegration.


  • What is urea commonly referred to as?
    • a) Ammonium
    • b) Carbamide
    • c) Nitrate
    • d) Formaldehyde
    • Answer: b
  • How is urea typically stored?
    • a) In liquid form
    • b) In gas form
    • c) As prills and granules
    • d) In powder form
    • Answer: c
  • Who is often referred to as the father of organic chemistry for synthesizing urea in a laboratory?
    • a) Friedrich Wöhler
    • b) Robert Boyle
    • c) Antoine Lavoisier
    • d) Linus Pauling
    • Answer: a
  • Which raw materials are used in the urea production process?
    • a) Nitrogen and oxygen
    • b) Ammonia and CO2
    • c) Hydrogen and methane
    • d) Carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide
    • Answer: b
  • What is the first reaction involved in the urea manufacturing process?
    • a) Ammonia dissociation
    • b) CO2 reduction
    • c) Formation of Ammonium Carbamate
    • d) Urea dehydration
    • Answer: c
  • How is urea obtained from ammonium carbamate?
    • a) Distillation
    • b) Filtration
    • c) Dehydration
    • d) Precipitation
    • Answer: c
  • At what pressure and temperature are the first reactions of ammonia and CO2 maintained during urea production?
    • a) 5 Mpa, 150 °C
    • b) 10 Mpa, 200 °C
    • c) 14 Mpa, 170-190 °C
    • d) 20 Mpa, 220 °C
    • Answer: c
  • What is the primary use of urea in the world, constituting more than 90% of its production?
    • a) Industrial solvents
    • b) Nitrogen-release fertilizer
    • c) Plastics manufacturing
    • d) Pharmaceutical synthesis
    • Answer: b
  • What is the nitrogen content of urea, making it a valuable fertilizer?
    • a) 20.5%
    • b) 32.1%
    • c) 46.7%
    • d) 55.3%
    • Answer: c
  • Which chemical compounds are manufactured using urea as a raw material?
    • a) Ammonium nitrate
    • b) Urea-formaldehyde resins
    • c) Sodium chloride
    • d) Hydrochloric acid
    • Answer: b
  • In the preparation of urea, what is the role of liquid ammonia and compressed CO2?
    • a) Catalysis
    • b) Filtration
    • c) Oxidation
    • d) Reaction components
    • Answer: d
  • How is urea solution concentrated in the evaporation chamber?
    • a) Adding more water
    • b) Heating with steam under pressure
    • c) Cooling with liquid nitrogen
    • d) Heating with steam under vacuum
    • Answer: d
  • What is the final form of urea after passing through the prilling tower?
    • a) Liquid
    • b) Gas
    • c) Prills or granules
    • d) Powder
    • Answer: c
  • Apart from fertilizers, what is another common use of urea in industrial applications?
    • a) Food preservative
    • b) Textile dyeing
    • c) Adhesive manufacturing
    • d) Fuel additive
    • Answer: c
  • What role does compressed air play in the prilling tower during urea production?
    • a) Cooling
    • b) Heating
    • c) Solidification
    • d) Filtration
    • Answer: c
  • What environmental issues may arise from poor maintenance of urea plants?
    • a) Soil erosion
    • b) Air and water pollution
    • c) Global warming
    • d) Deforestation
    • Answer: b
  • Which gas, if leaked from a urea factory, can cause health problems for humans and animals?
    • a) Carbon dioxide
    • b) Nitrogen
    • c) Oxygen
    • d) Ammonia
    • Answer: d
  • What is the main cause of coastal disintegration when coral is used to get limestone in urea production?
    • a) Carbon emissions
    • b) Ammonia leakage
    • c) Industrial waste
    • d) Chemical reactions
    • Answer: b
  • In the concentration of urea solution, what percentage of urea melt is obtained in the evaporation chamber?
    • a) 75.5%
    • b) 86.3%
    • c) 99.7%
    • d) 100%
    • Answer: c
  • What is the primary purpose of urea in topical skin-related treatments?
    • a) Antiseptic
    • b) Rehydration of the skin
    • c) Anti-inflammatory
    • d) Skin coloring
    • Answer: b
  • What is the primary advantage of using urea as a fertilizer for de-icing?
    • a) Corrosiveness
    • b) Cost-effectiveness
    • c) Coloration
    • d) Reactivity
    • Answer: b
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FAQs related to Manufacturing of Urea: Process, Preparation, & Applications of Urea

1. What is Urea and why is it significant?

  • Urea is an organic chemical compound, often referred to as Carbamide. Its significance lies in being the first natural chemical synthesized in a laboratory by Friedrich Wöhler, considered the father of organic chemistry.

2. What are the raw materials used in the manufacturing process of Urea?

  • The primary raw materials are ammonia and CO2. Urea is typically produced in an ammonia plant due to the yield of ammonia as a product and carbon dioxide as a by-product.

3. How is Urea prepared from Ammonium Carbamate?

  • The dehydration of ammonium carbamate results in the formation of Urea. The reaction is represented as NH2COONH4 → H2O + NH2CONH2.

4. What conditions are maintained in the reaction chamber during the manufacturing process?

  • The pressure is kept at 14 Mpa, and the temperature ranges between 170-190 °C. These conditions are crucial for the highly exothermic reaction of ammonia and CO2.

5. How is Urea solution concentrated, and what percentage of urea melt is obtained?

  • The urea solution is concentrated in an evaporation chamber by heating with steam under vacuum. Two evaporation stages yield 99.7% urea melt.

6. What is the role of the prilling tower in Urea production?

  • The molten urea is passed through nozzles inside the prilling tower, where compressed air is counter-currently passed to shape the urea into prills or granules. This facilitates its storage and use.

7. What are the primary applications of Urea?

  • Over 90% of Urea production is used as a nitrogen-release fertilizer due to its high nitrogen content (46.7%). Additionally, it is used in manufacturing plastics, adhesives, industrial feedstocks, explosives, animal feed, flame-proofing agents, dish soap, and topical skin-related treatments.

8. How does Urea contribute to environmental pollution, and what are the associated issues?

  • Urea production can lead to environmental pollution if there’s poor plant maintenance or leakage of toxic products. Ammonia, a toxic gas, can be released, causing health problems for humans and animals. Coastal disintegration may occur if coral is used to obtain limestone.
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9. Can Urea be used as a fertilizer alternative for de-icing?

  • Yes, Urea is a safe, non-corrosive fertilizer alternative for de-icing, offering a cost-effective source of nitrogen for this purpose.


Summary: Manufacturing of Urea Tutorial

The Manufacturing of Urea tutorial provides comprehensive insights into the production process, preparation methods, and diverse applications of Urea. Urea, an organic chemical compound, is commonly known as Carbamide and is predominantly stored in solid forms like prills and granules, highly soluble in water.

The tutorial delves into the historical significance of Urea, emphasizing its synthesis by Friedrich Wöhler in a laboratory setting, marking a milestone in organic chemistry. The manufacturing process involves using raw materials, ammonia, and CO2, primarily derived in ammonia plants. The crucial reactions include the formation of Ammonium Carbamate from Ammonia and CO2, followed by the dehydration of ammonium carbamate to yield Urea.

The heart of the manufacturing process lies in the reaction chamber, where liquid ammonia and compressed CO2 undergo an exothermic reaction at specified pressure and temperature conditions. The tutorial highlights the importance of maintaining optimal parameters for effective conversion, with recycling of unreacted materials achieving a remarkable overall conversion rate of over 99%, minimizing environmental impact.

The concentration of Urea solution is achieved through evaporation in a dedicated chamber, resulting in 99.7% urea melt, subsequently processed in the prilling tower. The tower utilizes compressed air to solidify the molten urea into prills or granules, ready for storage and use.

The tutorial extensively covers the applications of Urea, with over 90% of its production designated for use as a nitrogen-release fertilizer due to its high nitrogen content. Urea finds applications in various industries, including plastics manufacturing, adhesive production, explosives, animal feed, flame-proofing agents, and more.

Environmental considerations are discussed, focusing on potential pollution issues arising from Urea manufacturing, emphasizing the importance of plant maintenance and addressing toxic product leaks. Ammonia, a toxic gas, can be released, causing health concerns for both humans and animals.

In conclusion, the tutorial provides a comprehensive overview of Urea, from its production process to diverse applications, while highlighting the environmental considerations associated with its manufacturing. Further readings and suggested topics throughout the tutorial offer additional resources for in-depth exploration.