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  • Writer's pictureCRAIKER

Can Trapping Gas Emissions Slow Climate Change in Napa?

How Carbon sequestering could help decrease our carbon footprint

Recently Napa City has been questioning if a drive-thru restaurant should be allowed, considering the auto greenhouse gas emissions from sitting in-line could be adding to climate change. Such a restaurant is proposed at the Soscol Square Shopping Center but has received considerable pushback from the environmental-oriented Napa Climate Now! as well as the City Council, expressing concerns over lines of potential idling cars omitting deadly gas fumes.

Ironically, as auto and trucks numbers crossing Napa between Solano and Sonoma Counties soar and their emissions skyrocket, the limited emissions at a drive-thru seems minuscule, but not to be minimized. This all adds to our environmental decline.

But what if we were able to collect those emissions, both at drive-thru’s and on our freeways to help reduce our carbon footprint? Such a process is known as Carbon Capture and Sequestering and very well could be a viable way to help stabilizing our climate and diminish carbon emissions. This is not a new idea but is gaining momentum internationally by regional as well as local governments around the world. The concept has been used to monitor emissions at power generation facilities including coal-fired plants. This may be the only way coal will survive in the 21st century.

Sucking up CO2 and sequestering it into the ground is what plants and trees have been doing for eons, only now with new technology we can do it mechanically with fans that filter and trap gases. Not only will existing carbon fuel plants have to capture their own wastes for their survival, there are plans for large scale fan assemblies to push air through a filter system collecting atmospheric CO2. When the filter is saturated, CO2 is separated at super low temperatures. The gas is then sent through an underground pipeline to a greenhouse to help grow vegetables, like tomatoes and cucumbers. I know it sounds like Buck Rogers (if any Millennials know who that is) but is in the works currently.

The immediate question is whether we can collect vehicle emissions as one travels -or idles- and sequester them to eliminate emission into the atmosphere. Can a fast-food drive-thru, a highway or a mega- freeway have a continuous collection method like a gutter in the ground or in an adjacent wall that could collect gas fume emissions, store, recycle and minimize our carbon footprint? This could be a unique solution to local, regional and national battles to reduce our daily carbon emissions.

While I applaud the concept, I’m concerned this is could be an excuse for the petroleum industry to continue, “Business as usual.” The future may be converting all vehicles to electric but we are still dependent on petroleum products to produce electricity. Just as people thought a “COVID-19 pill” was an easy way to get around vaccination, the truth is we must cut our addiction to burning carbon and polluting our future.

Revisiting Fire-Resistant Treated Wood

I recently pinned an Architex Angle article regarding the misuse of Fire Rated-Treated Wood, FRTW, as a Wildlife Urban Interface, WLI, exterior building protective skin. In the article, I implied that the Napa County Building official Mike Zimmer “, agreed that the use should not be considered as a long-term fire-resistant material”. That was neither his words nor his position and I apologize if it was misleading.

And as noted in my article, unless the product has a WUI certified primer or finish, it cannot be painted or stained since it will eliminate its fire resistance certification. So much for the current white Farmhouse painted look.

Chris d Craiker AIA/NCARB loves his Buck Rogers metal lunchbox.

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