It was in 1828 when Friedrich Wohler, a German chemist known for his work on inorganic chemistry, discovered that urea could be produced from inorganic starting materials. This was an essential conceptual milestone in the branch of chemistry as it would then, later on, allow the industrial production and use of urea in a variety of services.
This would range from agriculture to explosives, automobiles, medical, and various other laboratory use. Over the course of time, inventions like that a urea pump would take prominence and significantly support the transferring of urea as it tends to crystallize under normal conditions. This created clogging problems for the traditional solenoid-operated diaphragm dosing pumps. Let’s take a quick look at them and see what they are all about.
What is Urea and Why It is Used as a Fertilizer?
Also known as carbamide, urea is an organic compound with the chemical formula CO(NH2)2. It serves a vital role in the metabolism of nitrogen-containing compounds by animals and is the primary nitrogen-containing substance in the urine of mammals.
It is a colourless, odourless solid, highly soluble in water, and practically non-toxic. Dissolved in water, it is neither acidic nor alkaline. Urea is widely used in fertilizers as a source of nitrogen. It is the most important nitrogenous fertilizer in the market, with the highest nitrogen content (about 46%).
It is a white crystalline organic chemical compound with a neutral pH (power of hydrogen) rating and can adapt to almost all kinds of soils. As a standard and most commercial nitrogen fertilizer, urea is manufactured from anhydrous ammonia (NH3). Its high nitrogen content is the main reason for its low cost. More than 90% of the world’s industrial urea production is destined for use as a nitrogen-release fertilizer.
What are Urea Pumps and How are They Used?
As mentioned earlier, urea tends to crystallize and can periodically create clogging problems. This is why many urea production plants are almost always located adjacent to the site where the ammonia is manufactured, which is an essential raw material for urea production. The production process requires extremely high pressure to make pellets from very viscous liquids.
In many cases, a peristaltic pump is used which is insensitive to crystal formation. Urea is continuously metered when the pump is switched on and additionally has no ancillary valves or other additional parts to increase the clogging risk. It has stable dosing characteristics, and its performance depends only on the rotational speed regardless of the pipeline back pressure.
Urea transfer pumps are also used to transport urea from one base of application to another. The pumps used can be centrifugal self-priming pumps suitable for urea transfer for agriculture, transport, and many more applications. For pumping chemical urea at room temperature, it is recommended to go with a centrifugal sealless magnetic drive chemical pump made up of stainless steel and encapsulated impeller.
The chemical urea can also be heavy depending on the concentration and temperature. If the specific gravity is more than 1.1, a trimmed impeller is absolutely necessary to prevent decoupling or overloading the motor. Higher concentrations and higher temperatures of the chemical urea together or by themselves may make ordinary pumps unsuitable. It is highly recommended that you contact an expert manufacturer of pumps directly and have them review your application before ordering a pump.
Ultimately, I would like to conclude that there are companies out there that offer you brilliant solutions regarding the applications of urea pumps for industrial use. Heavy duty integrally geared drive pumps engineered for critical extremely high-head services required for processing urea are available. Unique integrally gear-driven pump design can optimize efficiency, curve shape, NPSH, runout horsepower, and radial loading to provide economical, reliable operation through various combinations of the impeller, diffuser, and inducer geometry.