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    Massachusetts firm in $1.25b deal in China

    Start-up to build alternative energy project for partner

    A Cambridge company will produce synthetic natural gas in China, using a process that captures nearly all the emissions.

    1carbon-rich feedstocks (C)
    Coal
    Biomass - Nonfood plants such as sawgrass
    Petroleum coke - Byproduct of oil refining
    1
    2Catalyst - Something that helps a chemical reaction, but is not itself changed
    2
    3Pressurized steam (H2O)
    Steam mixes with the carbon and distributes the catalyst, creating a fluid in which C and H2O react and change to methane and carbon dioxide.
    3
    Cyclone
    4Natural gas
    is primarily composed of methane (CH4).
    4
    6Commercially useful byproducts are captured.
    7Captured, sequestered or used for oil recovery
    Gas cooling
    Gas separation
    CH4
    7CO2
    5Sulfur
    6Ammonia

    SOURCES: GreatPoint Energy; chemical dictionary; Union of Concerned Scientists

    David Butler, Javier Zarracina and Monica Ulmanu/Globe Staff