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Environmental fate & pathways

Biodegradation in soil

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Description of key information

The main mode of urea degradation is enzymatic mineralization. 

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Additional information

The main mode of urea degradation is enzymatic mineralization. In soil and water, urea is expected to biodegrade fairly rapidly to ammonia and bicarbonate if the temperature is not too low. The main factors affecting the rates of nitrogen metabolism are the initial concentration of the ureolytic bacteria, the physical state of the nitrifying micro-organisms and the concentration of toxic organics.