Thiourea - CH4N2S

What is Thiourea?

Thiourea is an organo sulfur compound similar to urea in which the oxygen atom is replaced by a sulfur atom. It is the sulfur analog of urea. Thiourea is used for its synthetic equivalence to hydrogen sulfide. It plays an important role in the construction of heterocycles. It appears as whitecrystals which is combustible and on contact with fire gives off irritating or toxic fumes. It acts as a precursor to sulphide to produce metal sulphides like mercury sulphide.

Other names – Thiocarbamide, Pseudothiourea




1.4 g/cm³

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

76.12 g/mol

Boiling Point

150 – 160oC

Melting Point

176 – 178oC

Chemical Formula


Thiourea Structure – CH4N2S


Physical Properties of Thiourea – CH4N2S




White solid


> 3

Surface tension

1.0404 X 10-2 N/m


soluble in water (137 g/litre at 20 °C)

Chemical Properties of Thiourea – CH4N2S

  • Thiourea reacts with alkyl halides gives isothiouronium salt on further hydrolysis reaction of this salt results in the formation of thiol and urea.

Thiourea Reaction

Uses of Thiourea – CH4N2S

  • It is used in industries for the production of flame retardant resins and vulcanisation accelerators.
  • Used as a chemical chemical intermediate or catalyst in metal processing and plating and in photo processing.
  • Used as a contaminant in the ethylene bisdithiocarbanate fungicides and can also be formed when food containing the fungicides is cooked.

Health Hazard

Exposure to thiourea causes adverse health effects and poisoning. It is absorbed into the body by inhalation of its aerosol and by ingestion. Repeated or prolonged contact of thiourea is known to cause skin sensitisation and diverse health effects on the thyroid.

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