Urea – The Making and Benefits
Urea is one of the most important chemicals in the world that enhance the economy of most countries.
Synthetically urea is usually made from ammonia and carbon dioxide. Huge amount of ammonia is needed every year to make urea. To know more about the making and the benefits of this nitrogen-rich fertilizer, keep reading here.
Urea is currently manufactured in a large scale by many companies using simple two equilibrium reactions of ammonia and carbon dioxide. Because the reaction is exothermic, a boiler is usually needed in manufacturing process to recover the heat that will result in steams. Reaction using biuret can be chosen to make the urea. However, as urea is used as fertilizer for the plants, the presence of biuret is undesirable due to its ability to burn the plants’ leaves.
The principle of the making of urea in a great scale manufacture is using the compressed both ammonia and carbon dioxide. It needs reactors that can do 78% carbon dioxide conversion to urea. Liquid purification will be conducted after that to obtain pure urea. Another reactor is needed in urea manufacturing process to receive and then recycle the gas that comes from the first reactor and the liquid respectively.
Urea that is obtained from the large scale of manufacture has granule forms. The quality of pure Urea as finished product is determined by assessing the level of its purity. The impurities of urea mostly come from unconsummated reactants such as ammonia, ammonium carbamate, carbon dioxide and the water used. There are usually three stages of process to eliminate those impurities from urea. To eliminate ammonium carbamate, the solution needs to be heated after certain lowering pressure treatment. Evaporation of water impurities is done using heated vacuum. Through heating, re-dissolving and evaporating process, urea crystal can be obtained. To create the granule forms, sprayer is needed to form the molten urea to become seed granules through certain nozzles. Classified urea is determine using screens.
Urea is mainly used as fertilizer that is important for the plant because it is rich of nitrogen, one of the most important nutrients in soil that the plants need. In the market Urea is usually offered as granules with 2-4mm diameter. Urea can be applied in irrigated crops by letting it in dry forms to the soil or in dissolved forms via the irrigation water. Usually the fertilizer will dissolve easily in water in its own weight. However, the dissolution process can be difficult increasingly when the water becomes saturated. Because the reaction of urea dissolution in water is endothermic, the final solution will have lower temperature as the urea dissolves in the water.
The quality of urea is determined by the level of impurities it contains. The process of manufacturing urea must follow both environmental standard and stringent safety as otherwise its quality cannot be guaranteed. The composition of urea needs to be maintained because low quality fertilizer will give big impact to the agricultural production and revenue. You can look for examples of high quality urea specification at Pt. Nuansa Kimia Sejati.
In the soil, the urea will be directly deal with many soil bacteria. As the bacteria have specific enzyme called urease, they can decompose the urea to form its smaller components including ammonia that will be readily absorbed by plants that by undergoing certain process will harvest particular amount of energy for the plant. Remember that urea is very hygroscopic that therefore it must be stored in dry place. The fertilizer is also very soluble in water that therefore it is quite ideal for use as fertilizer solutions.
Where to buy high quality urea? At Pt. Nuansa Kimia Sejati you can get good quality urea that has very low impurities that therefore it is safe for your plants. The company can provide granular urea that is more preferable over the prills typed because the earlier has narrower size distribution, which therefore is more advantageous in mechanical application.