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As world leaders hammered out a deal earlier this month to slow down climate change, gas engineer Michele Ricciardi was digging into a practical problem: How thousands of miles of pipelines across Italy and Europe can safely carry hydrogen.

The Italian is at the forefront of gas carriers’ efforts to prepare for a lower carbon future: If fossil fuels are phased out in the coming decades, natural gas companies believe that should not mean the infrastructure that carries them must go too. They want to repurpose pipelines to carry zero-emissions hydrogen after countries wean themselves off natural gas.

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