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. This is because the EPA has determined that deploying these gases “helps to ensure that air pollution measurements are accurate and can be trusted.”*

The protocol process, attributed to the EPA, NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology), and partners such as the auto industry and specialty gas producers, is intended to enhance the accuracy and stability of calibration gases that are used in air monitoring equipment.

The EPA says that Protocol Gases are “compressed gases used to calibrate air pollution monitors for consistent and reliable monitoring.” Nevertheless, as critical as certified standards are, Protocol Gases also necessitate that the recorded 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 obtain these reference gases for the protocol mixtures they sell. Beyond the costs incurred purchasing this reference inventory and the time one must spend to confirm both the accuracy and stability of the gas, the EPA further requires that gas producers agree to an EPA-coordinated blind test to certify consistency and accuracy.

Cee Kay Supply, Inc. takes extra care to verify that all of the protocol gases we supply our St. Louis customers meets or exceeds the procedure demanded in EPA Publication 600 (2012) and that the particular producing specialty gas laboratory is ISO 1705-compliant. Copies of the compliance documentation, including “round robin” reports, are always available on request. Cee Kay Supply, Inc.’s got what you’re looking for. Just contact us online or phone us at 314.644.3500.

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