Urethane - C3H7NO2

What is Urethane?

Urethane is also called as ethyl carbamate is the ethyl ester of carbamic acid with the chemical formula C3H7NO2. It has a broad spectrum of biological activities and is known multisite carcinogen capable of inducing tumors in various animal species. In 1976 Ough was the first to demonstrate that ethyl carbamate was formed naturally in fermented foods such as bread, beer, soy sauce and wine.

Other name – Ethyl carbamate




1.06 g/cm³

Molecular Weight/ Molar Mass

89.09 g/mol

Boiling Point

182 to 185 °C

Melting Point

46 to 50 °C

Chemical Formula


Urethane Structure – C3H7NO2


Physical Properties of Urethane – C3H7NO2


no odor


White solid



Vapour Pressure

0.36 torr at 25oC

Hydrogen Bond Donor



readily soluble in water, alcohol and lipids.

Chemical Properties of Urethane – C3H7NO2

  • Urethane reacts with ethyl alcohol results in the formation of polyurethane and water. The chemical reaction is given below.
  • C3H7NO2 + C2H5OH → NH2CH2CH2COOC2H5 + H2O

  • Urethane undergoes combustion reaction resulting in the formation of ammonia, carbon dioxide and water.
  • C3H7NO2 + 3O2 → NH3 + 3CO2 + 2H2O

Uses of Urethane – C3H7NO2

  • Small amounts of ethyl carbamate were detected in fruit juices (9) that had been treated with an antimicrobial agent diethyl dicarbonate .
  • Labelling experiments subsequently showed that urethane was formed from the reaction of DEDC with residual ammonia and that this mechanism could account for amounts found in orange juice, wine and beer.
  • Used as chemical products, for example, pharmaceuticals, in biochemical research and medicine, and as a pharmaceuticals in biochemical research and drug and as a solubilizer and co-dissolvable for pesticides and fumigants.

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