What is the cause of urine smell?

whoami whoami at tamu.edu
Tue Feb 1 10:08:47 EST 2000


In article <389694FD.B15A90F4 at avebe.com>, voogdr at avebe.com says...
>
>I was told in chemistry class more than thirty years ago that the smell of
>urine was mostly generated by the decomposition of ureum into ammonia. If
>you  use alcaline cleaners this process is faster because the ammonia is
>evaporated more quickly. If you use excess water this is also true.
>
>3S wrote:
>

I don't know the source of the odor.  I am certain however that it is more
than ammonia.  Compare if you would the aroma of dilute ammonia with 
the smell in your standard public restroom.

I think there are additional compounds adding "flavor" or "bouquet" to the
brew.  Also, when urine is not cleaned up well bacteria get a chance to grow
in the residue--and contribute to the odor. 

But, above is just a guess.  What I know for certain is the odor is more
than ammonia, even in freshly collected samples from healthy individuals
there is a distinct urine odor.





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