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DPChallenge Forums >> General Discussion >> urea - an organic chemical
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06/05/2009 07:08:18 AM · #1
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.

Synthetic urea is created from synthetic ammonia and carbon dioxide and can be produced as a liquid or a solid. The process of dehydrating ammonium carbamate under conditions of high heat and pressure to produce urea was first used in 1870 and is still in use today. Uses of synthetic urea are numerous and therefore production of it is high. In fact, approximately one million pounds of urea is manufactured in the United States alone each year, most of it used in fertilizers. Because the nitrogen in urea makes it water soluble, it is highly desired in this application. Urea is also used commercially and industrially to produce some types of plastics, animal feed, glues, toilet bowl cleaners, dish washing machine detergents, hair coloring products, pesticides, and fungicides. Medicinally, it is used in barbiturates, dermatological products that re-hydrate the skin, and diuretics

Naturally, urea is produced when the liver breaks down protein or amino acids, and ammonia. The kidneys then transfer the urea from the blood to the urine. Extra nitrogen is expelled from the body through urea, and because it is extremely soluble, it is a very efficient process. The average person excretes about 30 grams of urea a day, mostly through urine, but a small amount is also secreted in perspiration.

Physicians can use urea levels to detect diseases and disorders that affect the kidneys, such as acute kidney failure or end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and the urine urea nitrogen (UUN) tests, which measure urea nitrogen levels in the blood and urine, are often used to assess how well a patient's kidneys are functioning. Increased or decreased urea levels, however, do not always indicate kidney problems, but instead may reflect dehydration or increased protein intake.
06/05/2009 07:13:15 AM · #2
as spam goes that was quite informative :)
06/05/2009 08:00:23 AM · #3
What a bizarre post.
06/05/2009 08:54:02 AM · #4
Can't you get really sick from that stuff or even die? I think it's called something like di-urea?

06/05/2009 08:59:59 AM · #5
Originally posted by iamwoman:

Can't you get really sick from that stuff or even die? I think it's called something like di-urea?


booooo, hiiisssssss
06/05/2009 09:26:56 AM · #6
So, let me get this strait, somebody reproduces synthetically, a product that is naturally produced in the millions of gallons daily. Hhhhmmmmmm.
06/05/2009 09:28:25 AM · #7
Thank you, jindi jindi. I look forward to seeing your challenge entries.
06/05/2009 09:33:47 AM · #8
piss poor post if you ask me ;-)
06/05/2009 09:52:51 AM · #9
urine for a fight, aren't you..
06/05/2009 12:16:39 PM · #10
Originally posted by alans_world:

So, let me get this strait, somebody reproduces synthetically, a product that is naturally produced in the millions of gallons daily. Hhhhmmmmmm.


Well, if I read it correctly (Urea is also used commercially and industrially to produce...toilet bowl cleaners, dish washing machine detergents, hair coloring products...) we are cleaning our toilet bowls with piss (say what?), and washing our dishes and coloring our hair with it as well... How bizarre...

R.
06/05/2009 12:26:20 PM · #11
It's an ingrediant used in ProActive for killing zits.
06/05/2009 12:28:56 PM · #12
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Well, if I read it correctly (Urea is also used commercially and industrially to produce...toilet bowl cleaners, dish washing machine detergents, hair coloring products...) we are cleaning our toilet bowls with piss (say what?), and washing our dishes and coloring our hair with it as well... How bizarre...

R.


Yep... if you didn't realize all the places it's used, well, urine for a surprise! One of the places you really didn't want to know: shampoo (although it's normally present as part of a larger molecule).
06/05/2009 01:36:17 PM · #13
The op neglected to mention:

"Many animals (e.g., dogs) have a much more concentrated urine and it contains a higher urea amount than normal human urine; this can prove dangerous as a source of liquids for consumption in a life-threatening situation (such as in a desert)."

Definitely something for serious photographers to know.
06/05/2009 02:14:41 PM · #14
Originally posted by tnun:

The op neglected to mention:

"Many animals (e.g., dogs) have a much more concentrated urine and it contains a higher urea amount than normal human urine; this can prove dangerous as a source of liquids for consumption in a life-threatening situation (such as in a desert)."

Definitely something for serious photographers to know.


This give a whole new meaning to the term "Recycling". Whatever you do, don't let Gore know about this... hehehehe

Ray
06/05/2009 02:34:24 PM · #15
Hair Loss is prevented by mixing fresh urine, powered sulpher and potato's together, and applying the mixture to the scalp.
Throat inflammations are treated by gargling a mixture of fresh urine, and saffron.
Trembling hands and feet are treated by rubbing fresh, warm urine into the skin, and not washing it off.
Drinking fresh urine in the morning for 9 days is believed to cure scurvy.
Washing your eyes with fresh urine is used to cure sore eyes.
Washing your hands with warm fresh urine is said to cure numbness, chaps, sores, and makes joints more limber. Washing means pouring urine on your hands as you would if it was water, and not using any soap.
Dabbing fresh urine of fresh wounds as you would peroxide is said to make the wound heal faster.
For tired painful eyes are treated by placing a few drops of fresh urine in the eye.
Four day old urine is used as a ear drop to cure ear infections, and ear aches.
By rubbing urine into your scalp and allowing it to set for 30 minutes is said to get rid of dandruff.
By rubbing fresh morning urine onto your face it is believe to get rid of blemishes such as pimples, and leave the skin soft acting as a facial moisturizer. (among other things ;-p)
It is also believed that fresh morning urine applied to the face daily, acts are a wrinkle reducer, allowing you to look more youthful longer.

According to author John Armstrong in the book "The water of life" published in 1971, he states "urea is found in many facial creams". He also adds that several types of elegant European soaps contain urine. Those who practice UT (urine therapy) say that your own urine works best, and to never consume another persons urine. It is also advised that you catch your urine mid stream. The first part of the urine stream isn't the cleanest, and the end of the stream contains sediment.

Is urine just another human waste product, or are we flushing away the fountain of youth. Could it be possible that those who drink urine for beauty reasons be so afraid of growing out, that in desperation they'll try anything? Urine therapy can not be scientifically prove, but that doesn't mean it don't work for some people. The mind is a powerful thing, and perhaps believing with all your heart that urine therapy works, is where the cure actually lies.

06/05/2009 02:36:07 PM · #16
This has got to be the longest thread posted after a spam post... :)

If you could live longer by drinking urine, would you really want to live longer? ;P

Message edited by author 2009-06-05 14:36:51.
06/05/2009 02:46:52 PM · #17
Sci-Fi Life Support on the ISS

Also, urea was one of the compounds found as a result of experiments on the origin of life performed by Stanley Lloyd Miller and Harold Urey (name coincidence!):

He was a participant in the pioneering Miller-Urey experiment. In the 1950s, Urey guessed that the early atmosphere of the Earth was probably like the atmosphere now present on Jupiter --i.e., rich in ammonia, methane, and hydrogen. Miller, working in his laboratory at the University of Chicago, demonstrated that when exposed to an energy source such as ultraviolet radiation, these compounds and water can react to produce amino acids essential for the formation of living matter. (Similar ideas had been suggested by Aleksandr Oparin in the 1920s.) Since then there have been objections that the early environment was possibly not as reducing as Miller and Urey assumed and Miller acknowledged this.

In 2008, researchers found the apparatus that Miller used in his early experiments and analyzed the material using more sensitive later techniques. The experiments included previously unreported simulations of other environments, such as gases released in volcanic eruptions. The later analysis turned up more amino acids and other compounds of interest.

In 1828 Friedrich Wohler had showed that it is possible to synthesize urea. As urea is an organic molecule, many at the time thought it could only be made by living organisms. This led to recognition that there is no obvious difference between a physically produced and an organically produced molecule. Miller's experiment went slightly further by showing that basic biomolecules can be formed through simple physical processes, and that it was not impossible for the first stages of abiogenesis to have occurred on the early earth.

Message edited by author 2009-06-05 14:58:12.
06/05/2009 02:54:29 PM · #18
".........and clog hoses."

Kidney stones? :-p


06/05/2009 03:05:46 PM · #19
Thanks OPee and NstiG8tr that was really...

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Disturbing LOL
06/05/2009 03:16:40 PM · #20
Originally posted by DrAchoo:

This has got to be the longest thread posted after a spam post... :)

If you could live longer by drinking urine, would you really want to live longer? ;P


Considering some of the crap that several people regularly ingest...my bet is that many would.

Ray
06/05/2009 03:28:00 PM · #21
OMG, crap too?
06/05/2009 03:32:20 PM · #22
It's also used in diesel fuel systems to reduce NOx emissions. That's the only version of it that I am aware of. Handy stuff!
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