Protocol Gases: What Are They? And Why Are They Priced Higher than a Certified Gas Standard?

The United States Environmental Protection Agency insists on the use of Protocol Gases to set air pollution monitors. In the EPA’s view, the use of these gases “helps to ensure that air pollution measurements are accurate and can be trusted.”*

The protocol process, developed by the EPA, NIST (the National Institute of Standards and Technology), and relevant entities such as the auto industry and specialty gas suppliers, is intended to enhance the accuracy and stability of calibration gases that are used in 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 require that the reported 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 get hold of these reference gases for the protocol mixtures they sell. That’s not all. Besides the costs associated with purchasing this reference inventory and the time required to authenticate both the accuracy and stability of the gas, the EPA further insists that gas producers submit to an EPA-coordinated blind test to certify consistency and accuracy.

Rocky Mountain Air Solutions follows every applicable procedure to verify that all of the protocol gases we offer our Denver customers meets or beats the procedure approved 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. Rocky Mountain Air Solutions’s got what you’re looking for. Just contact us online or phone us at (303) 777-6671.

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