George Cody: We might owe our existence to formaldehyde | Earth | EarthSky: "At first glance, he said, formaldehyde doesn’t seem like a significant molecule. Other compounds in space – containing iron, helium, nitrogen, and the like – are way more abundant. But it’s how big and strong and reactive formaldehyde is that makes it so special. "
Urea formaldehyde is also used in agriculture as a controlled release source of nitrogen fertilizer. Urea formaldehyde’s rate of decomposition into CO2 and NH3 is determined by the action of microbes found naturally in most soils. The activity of these microbes, and therefore the rate of nitrogen release, is temperature dependent. The optimum temperature for microbe activity is approximately 70°-90°F.