Protocol Gases: What Are They? And Why Are They More Expensive than a Certified Gas Standard?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency specifies the use of Protocol Gases to set air pollution monitors. In the EPA’s estimation, 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 such as the auto industry and specialty gas suppliers to increase the accuracy and stability of calibration gases used for air monitoring equipment.

The definition the EPA applies to Protocol Gases says they’re “compressed gases used to calibrate air pollution monitors for consistent and reliable monitoring.” This does, however, involve more than certified standards. Protocol Gases also necessitate that the recorded gas concentration must be traceable to NIST reference standards and manufactured using the process as described in EPA protocol documentation. This process requires that specialty gas producers get hold of these reference gases for the protocol mixtures they market. Beyond the costs associated with buying 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 verify consistency and accuracy.

Elite Air does all it can to substantiate that every one of the protocol gases we offer our Riverside customers meets or beats the procedure described 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. For details, contact us online or get hold of us at (951) 686-7822.