Urea is a white crystalline substance with the chemical formula CO(NH2)2; it is highly water soluble and contains 46% nitrogen. Urea is considered an organic compound because it contains carbon. It was the first organic compound every synthesized by chemists; this was accomplished in the early 1800s by German chemists. Urea is made by reacting carbon dioxide (CO2) with anhydrous ammonia (NH3) under 3,000 psi pressures and at 350 degrees F.
The removal of water that occurs during the reaction is referred to as "dehydration." The resulting molten mixture is further processed into either prills or granules. Urea is the major fertilizer traded in international commerce. In the very near future urea is expected to account for more than 50% of the nitrogen fertilizer in world trade.
When compared to other dry fertilizers, urea has captured more than 65% of the world trade.
Urea has a number of advantages over other nitrogen fertilizers. Urea is safe to ship and handle, it is less corrosive to equipment, it has a higher analysis than any other dry nitrogen fertilizer and it can beused on virtually all crops. Urea can be stored and distributed through conventional systems. It can be applied in many different ways from sophisticated aerial application equipment to a farm spreading urea by hand. Urea is also highly water soluble so it moves readily into the soil. The high analysis means a reduced transportation and application cost per pound of nitrogen.
2 Granulated Urea Plants, 2530 T/D capacity, Snamprogetti Technology (Urea Synthesis) and Hydro Fertilizer Technology (granulation) are installed at OMIFCO.