Whenever you go to the bathroom, you might not realize it. However, you are eliminating something that has many uses in society. Urea is contained in our urine, which is one of urine’s common by-products. It is something that is very useful in today’s world. The various uses number in the hundreds, and it is something that we flush away several times every day.
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In farming, urea is used in fertilizer for getting more nitrogen in the soil. It is also used in many different lotions since it helps to keep our skin hydrated. It also helps to reduce the pollutants contained in diesel fuel and is used for manipulating proteins inside the lab and utilized in fuel cells. Briefly put, it is used everywhere and is in everything, and a majority of us are unaware that it even exists.
There was a time when it was believed that only an organism produced urea, which limited how much area could be harvested for various uses. However, this changed after the chemist Friedrich Wohler came up with an idea.
This well-known 19th-century chemist was working trying to create ammonium cyanate. However, he was having a hard time doing so. Each time he conducted his experiments, the only thing he ended up with was impure white powder. He tried working with various chemicals to come up with the right solution. He even used lead. Then eventually he combined ammonium hydroxide with a lead cyanate. He got useless white powder that time also. However, it was pure, which help him have an idea of what it was. After he had started doing different tests, he discovered that he had created synthetic pee. By accident, that made him the first individual to make synthetic urine in history.
The impact that this had was a lasting one for many years into the future. Although the combinations that Wohler worked on were for the purpose of vitalism, he ended up discovering something much greater. Even more importantly, a majority of us are not aware of the fact that not only do we pee this away every day, but that we also use it on a daily basis in numerous products.