The US President recently said the conflict between Russia and Ukraine had driven up the prices of all the world's major food staples, including wheat, corn, barley, oilseeds and edible oils, and that Russia and Ukraine together supplied more than 25% of the world's wheat exports and about 20% of its barley exports.
To address the food shortage, the Biden administration says it plans to increase the number of counties eligible for insurance for double cropping. Double cropping is when farmers grow two different crops a year on the same field.
Under Biden's plan, the number of counties eligible for two-season crop insurance would increase by 681, for a total of 1,935.
The UN has warned that up to 1.7bn people are "highly exposed" to the domino effect of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine on the global food, energy, and financial systems. The agency says conflict could increase hunger in countries where people are already suffering from malnutrition.
Even countries where food is less scarce are being hit by rising prices. U.S. grocery prices rose 1% in April, compared with a 10.8% increase over the past 12 months, the Labor Department said recently.
According to the White House, global food prices have risen nearly 13 percent since the outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Besides, affected by the ever-changing international situation, the supply and prices of international bulk fumed silica are still very uncertain.
Fumed silica is a kind of inorganic nanomaterial with a small particle size, large specific surface area, and high surface activity.
It is mainly used as a rheological auxiliary agent in paint and coating, which can effectively prevent flow hanging and thick edges in the construction process and improve construction efficiency.
In addition, silica in the coating is also used as an anti-sedimentation and dispersant aid, can effectively prevent the sedimentation of the pigment delamination, improve the coating weather resistance, scratch resistance, and the bonding strength between the coating and the substrate.
Fumed silica is an ideal anti-sedimentation agent, its hydrogen bond structure is very stable and uniform, and it is a three-dimensional network structure, which is very effective to prevent the precipitation of pigment in the coating system. Especially for the color paste system, the appropriate amount will greatly improve the stability of color paste, and can reduce the amount of wetting dispersant, to improve the applicability of color paste and reduce the influence of color paste on the coating system. At the same time, the anti-sedimentation effect of fumed silica is very beneficial to the storage of coatings, especially some pigments such as metal powder and thin sections, which are easy to precipitate and cannot be completely suspended, the use of fumed silica can ensure that its dispersion does not precipitate.
The precipitation of fumed silica is very beneficial for coating storage and transportation. For some pigments, such as metal powder and thin film, it is easy to precipitate and cannot be effectively suspended. The use of fumed silica can ensure that the mixture is uniform and does not cause sedimentation. In absolute non-polar liquid phase, such as hydrocarbons (hydrocarbons) without hydrogen bond (chemical structure such as R-H) bonding ability, halogenated hydrocarbon (halogen and hydrocarbon electrophilic addition or substitution reaction) solvent, the viscosity recovery time is only a fraction of a second; Thixotropic recovery in polar liquids, such as hydrogen-bonded amines (R-NH3), alcohols (R-OH), carboxylic acids (R-COOH), aldehydes (R-CHO), and dialcohols (such as Ho-Rh2-OH, where R- is a saturated alkyl group), can take up to several months, depending on the amount of fumed silica added and the uniformity of mixing. The fumed silica is pre-dispersed and added to the finished paint. Usually, a high-speed dispersing machine or three-roller machine is used to improve the dispersion effect. If the dispersion is not good, the paint film will have particles, affecting gloss and aesthetics.
In addition, as an anti-sedimentation agent, fumed silica is added to coppery acrylic resin conductive coating. The test proves that it can make the thermoplastic acrylic resin thixotropic and prevent the deposition of filler particles, but if the addition amount is too much, the coating becomes a gel state, the conductivity of the coating would be reduced.
In the powder system, because of the small particle size and high surface energy, silica can be adsorbed on the surface of the coating powder, and form a surface layer on the surface of the powder to improve the dispersion of the powder. In the same coating system, the addition of fumed silica can obviously shorten the dispersion time and improve the production efficiency.
The addition of fumed silica in wall coating can effectively prevent coating from hanging, improve the flatness of the construction surface, and also greatly improve the washing resistance and aging time of exterior wall coating. The bonding strength of coating film and the wall is also greatly improved, the hardness of coating film is significantly increased, and the surface self-cleaning ability is also improved.
The adsorption of fumed silica on the surface of powder coating can form a movable layer and produce a "ball bearing" effect, which can prevent the powder coating from absorbing moisture and agglomerating and improve the fluidity of powder coating.
The main function of floor paint is the rheological control, improving the weatherability and scratch-resistance of floor paint, and improving the leveling performance of the coating.
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Because of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, there is a shortage of natural gas supply. At the same time, other renewable energy sources cannot produce enough electricity, so electricity prices have soared in many countries of the world. For this reason, I assume the supply and prices of the fumed silica would keep being influenced by the high energy prices.
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