Protocol Gases: What Are They? And Why Do They Exceed the Cost of a Certified Gas Standard?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency specifies the use of Protocol Gases to calibrate air pollution monitors. According to the EPA, utilizing these gases “helps to ensure that air pollution measurements are accurate and can be trusted.”*

The protocol process was developed by the EPA, NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology), and stakeholders like the auto industry and specialty gas manufacturers to improve the accuracy and stability of calibration gases that are used in air monitoring equipment.

The EPA says that Protocol Gases are “compressed gases used to calibrate air pollution monitors for consistent and reliable monitoring.” That said, it isn’t simply a matter of certified standards. Protocol Gases also specify that the recorded gas concentration must be traceable to NIST reference standards and prepared using the process as described in EPA protocol documentation. This process requires that specialty gas producers obtain these reference gases for the protocol mixtures they sell. Added to the the costs attendant to buying this reference inventory and the time necessary to verify both the accuracy and stability of the gas, the EPA further requires that gas producers participate in an EPA-coordinated blind test to verify consistency and accuracy.

Cryo-Source does all it can to ensure that all of the protocol gases we deliver to our Portland customers meets or exceeds the procedure approved in EPA Publication 600 (2012) and that the particular producing specialty gas laboratory is ISO 1705-compliant. Copies of the compliance documentation, including “round robin” reports, are always available on request. Cryo-Source’s got what you’re looking for. Just contact us online or phone us at 503-235-0168.