Protocol Gases: What Are They? And Why Are They Priced Higher than a Certified Gas Standard?

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

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

The EPA defines Protocol Gases as “compressed gases used to calibrate air pollution monitors for consistent and reliable monitoring.” This does, however, involve more than certified standards. Protocol Gases also require that the recorded gas concentration must be traceable to NIST reference standards and produced 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 market. That’s not all. Besides the costs incurred purchasing this reference inventory and the time that must be taken to confirm both the accuracy and stability of the gas, the EPA further specifies that gas producers agree to an EPA-coordinated blind test to validate consistency and accuracy.

Noble Gas Solutions goes the extra mile to confirm that each of the protocol gases we ship to our Albany customers meets or exceeds the procedure specified in EPA Publication 600 (2012) and that the applicable producing specialty gas laboratory is ISO 1705-compliant. Copies of the compliance documentation, including “round robin” reports, are always available on request. To learn more, contact us online or phone us at (518) 465-5229.