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

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

The protocol process, developed by the EPA, NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology), and relevant entities including the auto industry and specialty gas manufacturers, is used to increase 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.” As important as certified standards are, though, they’re not the only consideration here. Protocol Gases also require 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. That’s not all. Besides the costs attendant to purchasing this reference inventory and the time required to verify both the accuracy and stability of the gas, the EPA also requires that gas suppliers submit to an EPA-coordinated blind test to validate consistency and accuracy.

Sidney Lee Medical & Scientific Gases goes the extra mile to ensure that all of the protocol gases we produce for our Atlanta, GA customers meets or beats the procedure approved in EPA Publication 600 (2012) and that the specific 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 get hold of us at 770-946-4287 .