HERVE CONGE, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY HERVE CONGE, ISM / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Urea. Polarised light micrograph of urea (CON2H4) crystallising. Urea, also known as carbamide, is a nitrogenous end product of mammalian protein metabolism. It is excreted from the body in urine. It is also used in nitrogen fertilisers and the production of plastics. Urea was the first organic compound to be synthesised from inorganic materials, in 1828 by Friedrich Woehler. The modern process reacts carbon dioxide with ammonia to form ammonium carbamate, which is then dehydrated to give urea. Magnification: x115 when printed at 10 centimetres wide.
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