Protocol Gases: What Are They? And Why Do They Surpass the Cost 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, 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 like the auto industry and specialty gas suppliers to better the accuracy and stability of calibration gases designated for use in air monitoring equipment.

The EPA says that Protocol Gases are “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 specify that the documented 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 acquire these reference gases for the protocol mixtures they supply. In addition to the costs associated with purchasing this reference inventory and the time required to authenticate both the accuracy and stability of the gas, the EPA also requires that gas producers submit to an EPA-coordinated blind test to verify consistency and accuracy.

A-OX Welding Supply follows every applicable procedure to confirm that each of the protocol gases we deliver to our Sioux Falls customers meets or surpasses the procedure specified 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 further information, contact us online or call us at 605-336-1125.