What is Urea 46?
If you want to know about the answer to the question: What is Urea 46? The study of this article should be useful and applicable. This is brief information about Urea 46, Chemical Formula, specification, Urea 46 Production, and application.
In common with most commercial nitrogen fertilizers, urea is manufactured from anhydrous ammonia (NH3).
The high analysis of urea—46% N—is the main reason for the low cost of this form of nitrogen fertilizer. Freight costs and storage and handling are all lower than with lower analysis fertilizers such as ammonium nitrate (34-0-0) or ammonium sulfate (21-0-0).
Urea 46% Nitrogen a white crystalline solid containing 46% nitrogen, is widely used in the agricultural industry as an animal feed additive and fertilizer.
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 prilled 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.
Composition and Formula
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 (C=O) 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 (LD50 is 15 g/kg for rats). 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 (NH3) with a carbon dioxide (CO2) molecule in the urea cycle. Urea is widely used in fertilizers as a source of nitrogen (N) and is an important raw material for the chemical industry.
Friedrich Wöhler’s discovery, in 1828, that Urea can be produced from inorganic starting materials, was an important conceptual milestone in chemistry. It showed, for the first time, that a substance, previously known only as a byproduct of life, could be synthesized in the laboratory, without biological starting materials, thereby contradicting the widely held doctrine vitalism, which stated that only living things could produce the chemicals of life.
Urea 46, Main Specification
Mass portion of nitrogen (N) on a dry basis, %min
Mass portion of biuret, %, max
Moisture (determined by Fischer method), % max:
Product free-flowing, free from dust and harmful substances Urea is a non-combustible, fire and explosion-proof substance
about the Granulometry:
|Specification||Urea Prilled||Urea Granulated|
|Granulometry, %||2-5 mm||–||95|
|less than 1 mm||–||2|
|more than 6 mm||None||None|
Urea is an inexpensive form of nitrogen fertilizer with an NPK (nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) ratio of 46-0-0. Although urea is naturally produced in humans and animals, synthetic urea is manufactured with anhydrous ammonia.
Although urea often offers gardeners the most nitrogen for the lowest price on the market, special steps must be taken when applying urea to the soil to prevent the loss of nitrogen through a chemical reaction.
Urea 46 Production
Urea was first produced industrially by the hydration of calcium cyanamide but the easy availability of ammonia led to the development of ammonia/carbon dioxide technology. This is a two-step process where the ammonia and carbon dioxide react to form ammonium carbamate which is then dehydrated to urea.
In the process, ammonia and carbon dioxide are fed to the synthesis reactor which operates around 180-210oC and 150 bar pressure. The reaction mixture containing ammonia, ammonium carbamate, and urea is first stripped of the ammonia and the resultant solution passes through a number of decomposers operating at progressively reduced pressures. Here the unconverted carbamate is decomposed back to ammonia and carbon dioxide and recycled to the reactor.
The urea solution is concentrated by evaporation or crystallization, and the crystals can be melted to yield pure urea in the form of prills or granules. Prills are made by spraying molten urea from the top of a high tower through a counter-current air stream. Granular urea is formed by spraying molten urea into a mixture of dried urea particles and fines in a rotating drum.
Urea processes fall into two categories: external solution recycle systems, and internal solution stripping systems. In the former, energy is saved by high carbon dioxide conversion rates while the latter reduces net energy requirements by optimizing heat recovery.
a Video (15 min) about the Story of Urea, Stamicarbon Licence, and Urea Petrochemical Plants
What is Urea 46 Usage
Urea is widely used in the agricultural sector both as a fertilizer and animal feed additive. The main function of Urea fertilizer is to provide the plants with nitrogen to promote green leafy growth and make the plants look lush. Urea also aids the photosynthesis process of plants.
Advantage of Fertilizer 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.
- Incorporate urea for best use
Nitrogen from urea can be lost to the atmosphere if fertilizer urea remains on the soil surface for extended periods of time during warm weather. The key to the most efficient use of urea is to incorporate it into the soil during a tillage operation. It may also be blended into the soil with irrigation water. A rainfall of as little as 0.25 inches is sufficient to blend urea into the soil to a depth at which ammonia losses will not occur.
If properly applied, urea and fertilizers containing urea are excellent sources of nitrogen for crop production. After application to the soil, urea undergoes chemical changes and ammonium (NH4 +) ions form. Soil moisture determines how rapidly this conversion takes place.
When a urea particle dissolves, the area around it becomes a zone of high pH and ammonia concentration. This zone can be quite toxic for a few hours. Seed and seedling roots within this zone can be killed by the free ammonia that has formed. Fortunately, this toxic zone becomes neutralized in most soils as the ammonia converts to ammonium. Usually it’s just a few days before plants can effectively use the nitrogen. Although urea imparts an alkaline reaction when first applied to the soil, the net effect is to produce an acid reaction.
Urea or materials containing urea should, in general, be broadcast and immediately incorporated into the soil. Urea-based fertilizer applied in a band should be separated from the seed by at least two inches of soil. Under no circumstances should urea or urea-based fertilizer be seed-placed with corn.
With small grains, 10 lb. of nitrogen as urea can generally be applied with the grain drill at seeding time even under dry conditions.
disadvantage of Urea
Urea has several advantages, including cost per pound of nitrogen, higher nutrient density, and good handling and storage properties.
The biggest disadvantage is the potential for volatilization. This occurs when urea is surface-applied and converted to ammonium carbonate by urease.
a Video animation (4 min) about Production Process Scheme
How Urea works for the plants
Plants can’t eat urea in the form you spread across your yard. Instead, plants use the byproducts produced as urea starts to break down. Urea initially breaks down as ammonium, then turns into nitrate. This breakdown begins immediately after spreading the Urea, which is why you must work fast to incorporate it into the soil, preferably within two days. The ammonium might be released as a gas if the granules sit on top of the surface, reducing the amount of material that turns into helpful nitrate in the soil.
The nitrogen from the Urea stays in the soil until the plants either use it up or it’s leached out by water. The amount of time it’s available varies, depending on how many plants the urea is feeding and how much rainfall the area gets. Even if some remain in the soil when you’re ready to add more fertilizer, it might not be enough to support the plants through the next season. Testing nitrogen levels with self-test kits let you know when it’s time to add more Urea.
Why Nitrogen is important for the plants
Nitrogen helps jumpstart many plants during their growing cycle, helping them develop stronger cells for photosynthesis. It also helps manufacture and store proteins essential to plant survival. In many plants, it helps develop a deep green color, a sign photosynthesis is working well. When leaves begin to yellow, it could be from a nitrogen deficiency.
Urea 46 Package
What is Urea 46 package? It is packed in polyethylene and polypropylene bags, in special containers for friable products, and also in other types of packages.
Urea 46 Transportation
Urea can be shipped in bulk or packed with taking certain care measures; such as the possibility of getting the product into the environment and spillage of the product.
Urea is transported by all transport facilities, in compliance with goods transportation regulations applied to this type of transport means.
Videos about the Ammonia and Urea Plant Project in Egyp, and KSA, and about Uses and Benefits for the Farmers
Ammonia and Urea Plant EPC Project in Aswan, Egypt
One of the largest single-train ammonia plants worldwide
Urea Fertilizer - Uses and Benefits for the Farmers
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