The discovery of urea.

definition

Urea is a water-soluble compound with the chemical formula CO(NH2)2. It is the major nitrogenous end product of protein metabolism and is the chief nitrogenous component of the urine in mammals and other certain animals. It is also called as carbamide[1].

DISCOVERY

The Dutch scientist Herman Boerhaave discovered urea in 1727 after isolating[2] it from urine in the following manner:

  • He boiled urine until it turned into a substance resembling fresh cream.
  • He then used filter paper to extract the remaining fluid from the creamy substance.
  • He then kept the filtrate standing for a year. A solid mass then formed under an oily liquid.
  • He removed the oily liquid and dissolved the solid in water.
  • After leaving the solution to evaporate, crystals of urea were then formed.

Here is a photograph[3] of urea crystals:

[ux_image_box img=”1091″ image_width=”50″ link=”http://www.sciencemadness.org/smwiki/index.php/Urea” target=”_blank”]

[/ux_image_box]

discoverer

Here is a portrait[4] of Herman Boerhaave:

[ux_image_box img=”1094″ image_width=”40″ link=”https://collections.nlm.nih.gov/catalog/nlm:nlmuid-101408907-img” target=”_blank”]

1688-1738

[/ux_image_box]

sources
  1. https://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/urea
  2. https://books.google.ae/books?id=OH45AAAAcAAJ& source=gbs_navlinks_s, pages 276-277.
  3. http://www.sciencemadness.org/smwiki/index.php/Urea
  4. https://collections.nlm.nih.gov/catalog/nlm:nlmuid- 101408907-img

1 thought on “The discovery of urea.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *