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

The United States Environmental Protection Agency demands 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, created by the EPA, NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology), and partners such as the auto industry and specialty gas suppliers, 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.” Nevertheless, as critical as certified standards are, Protocol Gases also require that the documented 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 distribute. Beyond the costs incurred acquiring this reference inventory and the time one must spend to validate both the accuracy and stability of the gas, the EPA also demands that gas producers agree to an EPA-coordinated blind test to certify consistency and accuracy.

AOC Mexico S.A. de C.V. goes the extra mile to ensure that every one of the protocol gases we supply our Mexico customers meets or beats the procedure described 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 818-647-7427 .