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 graphene are still very uncertain.
What is graphene
Graphene is a new material made up of a single layer of carbon atoms packed tightly together to form a hexagonal honeycomb lattice. In other words, it is a two-dimensional carbon material, an allotrope of the element carbon.
Graphene has only 0.142 nanometers of molecular bonds and 0.335 nanometers of crystal plane spacing. It's much shorter than a bacterium, about four atoms in size.
So far, graphene is the thinnest compound ever found. It is only one atom thick. It is also the lightest material and the best conductor of electricity in the world.
Humans and graphene
Graphene has been found in nature since 1948. But at the time, it was very difficult to separate graphene from the monolayer structure, because the graphene was all clumped together, and it was like graphite, and every millimeter of graphite contained about three million layers of graphene.
So for a long time, graphene was thought to be nonexistent.
It wasn't until 2004 that scientists Andrei Geim and Konstantin Voselov from the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom found a way to isolate graphene. They found that if graphite sheets were peeled from highly-oriented pyrolytic graphite, they could be successfully separated by attaching the two sides of the sheets to a special tape and tearing the tape apart.
By doing this over and over again, you can make the sheets thinner and thinner, and you end up with a special sheet of carbon atoms, which is graphene. Andrei Geim and Konstantin Novoselov won the Nobel Prize for discovering graphene.
The king of materials -- graphene
When graphene was discovered, it completely changed the landscape of scientific research around the world. Because graphene turns out to be the thinnest material in the world, one gram of graphene is enough to cover a standard football pitch.
In addition, graphene has excellent thermal and electrical properties. Pure, defection-free monolayer graphene has a high thermal conductivity of 5300W/ Mk, the highest thermal conductivity of any carbon material known to mankind.
In addition, graphene conducts electricity very well. Graphene has a carrier mobility of 15,000m2/(Vs) at room temperature, which is more than 10 times that of silicon, the most commonly used material.
Inside graphene, carbon atoms are arranged like barbed wire. This arrangement of atoms gives graphene its unique flexibility, making it harder than ever. In addition to the barbed wire and honeycomb structure formed by carbon atoms, each carbon atom is perpendicular to the orbital of the layer, resulting in the formation of large bonds that can penetrate atoms, which also gives graphene excellent thermal and electrical properties.
The discovery of graphene has not only opened the eyes of science to the possibility of the movement and action of various particles, but also changed our lives in many aspects.
New energy batteries are the first foothold for graphene technology. At present, the commonly used battery is the lithium battery. Although the lithium battery is enough to store a large amount of electric energy for our use, the disadvantage of lithium battery is that its wear is too serious, and each use of discharge and charging will make the life of lithium battery shorter.
The application of graphene material greatly improves the capacity and charging efficiency of batteries, and it also plays an important role in improving battery life. If the graphene tin oxide layer is used as the anode of a lithium battery, the battery will last longer after being charged, and the battery will be used and recharged with very little loss.
In summary, graphene can make batteries last longer and have higher capacity.
In addition to batteries, graphene could also be used to make flexible materials because of its softness. One of the most representative is the flexible display.
The South Korean institute has successfully produced flexible transparent displays using layers of graphene and fiberglass polyester sheets. Although the project is still under development and has not been put into actual production or market, according to the imagination of the project staff, perhaps one day, mobile phones equipped with flexible displays made of graphene will completely change the impression of "bricks" of mobile phones. Phones can be folded like silly putty.
Graphene is also being used to protect the environment, most notably in desalination.
Water interacts with the graphene to create a channel of just 0.9 nanometers across. Molecules smaller than that can easily pass through the channel, while those larger get stuck. So, using graphene, you can remove the larger molecules of salt from seawater, so that the desalination of seawater can be successfully achieved.
Because of its excellent properties and unique properties, graphene has made a lot of achievements in many scientific fields.
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Inflationary pressures on Canadians continue to rise. The consumer-price index rose 6.7% in March from a year earlier, the biggest increase since January 1991, according to the latest figures from Statistics Canada.
On a month-on-month basis, Canada's CPI rose 1.4 percent in March, also accelerating from February's 1.0 percent rise.
Prices in the eight major sectors covered by the statistics continued to rise. The uptrend comes against the backdrop of continued price pressures in the Canadian housing market, widespread supply chain constraints, and geopolitical conflicts, according to CBC. A variety of factors have affected energy, commodity, and agricultural markets. Meanwhile, Canada's employment picture continued to improve in March, with the unemployment rate falling to a record low and the average hourly earnings of employees rising.
Excluding gasoline, Canada's CPI rose 5.5 percent year on year in March. It is also the highest since comparable data began in 1999.
The widespread supply chain constraints and geopolitical conflicts are expected to continue to affect the prices of the graphene.
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