Protocol Gases: What Are They? And Why Is Their Cost above That of a Certified Gas Standard?

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

The protocol process was created by the EPA, NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology), and partners like the auto industry and specialty gas producers to better the accuracy and stability of calibration gases used for air monitoring equipment.

As defined by the EPA, Protocal 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 demand that the reported gas concentration must be traceable to NIST reference standards and formulated using the process as described in EPA protocol documentation. This process requires that specialty gas producers acquire these reference gases for the protocol mixtures they supply. Besides the the costs incurred acquiring this reference inventory and the time that must be taken to verify both the accuracy and stability of the gas, the EPA also specifies that gas producers undergo an EPA-coordinated blind test to validate consistency and accuracy.

GTW takes every known precaution to make certain that all of the protocol gases we offer our Western Michigan customers meets or beats 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. If you’d like additional information, contact us online or call us at 616-754-6120.

*http://www.epa.gov/nrmrl/appcd/mmd/db-traceability-protocol.html