Featured Microscopist: Loes Modderman

Betaine-Urea Mixture

Betaine-Urea Mixture

Both betaine and urea are naturally occurring organic substances that are also often synthesized by chemical and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Betaine crystals are typically short-lived while urea crystals are relatively stable. Betaine-glycine, the structurally simplest betaine compound, was originally commercially extracted from sugar beets and a variety of seaweeds. Utilized primarily as commercial synthetic fertilizer, urea has the distinction of being the first organic substance synthesized wholly from inorganic ingredients and for nailing the coffin of the ill-fated vitalism theory that attempted to explain the origin of organic chemicals.


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