The potential of hydrogen technologies for low-carbon mobility in the urban-industrial symbiosis approach

The potential of hydrogen technologies for low-carbon mobility in the urban-industrial symbiosis approach

Maria Angela Butturi Rita Gamberini

Department of Science and Methods for Engineering, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy

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The use of green hydrogen to power vehicles is recognized as contributing to the mitigation of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions responsible for climate change. On the other hand, the need for reducing GHG emissions is even more urgent in densely industrialized areas, traditionally located nearby highly populated zones. In these areas, road transportation is a relevant source of environmental pressures affecting air quality and the nearby communities’ health: in Europe, private vehicles, vans, trucks, and buses produce more than 70% of the overall greenhouse gas emissions from transport, as well as particulate matter and nitrogen oxide. The European Hydrogen Strategy considers using green hydrogen as an energy carrier to de-carbonize industry and the transport sector, highlighting the need for the infrastructure to produce, store, and distribute hydrogen. The spatial configuration of the industrial sites and the existing infrastructure can facilitate the creation of hydrogen hubs serving both the logistics needs of companies and the public and private mobility in an urban-industrial symbiosis approach. Thus, this study aims at investigating the opportunities offered by the creation of synergies between industrial clusters and the nearby urban areas to improve the local sustainability by supporting the deploying of low-carbon mobility using green hydrogen. The available literature is reviewed in order to schematise and discuss the sustainability-related basis of adopting such a strategy, presenting an updated analysis of the latest research and application results suitable for future research applications and for supporting decision-making processes.


climate change mitigation, green hydrogen, sustainable mobility, symbiosis, urban-industrial


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