An Introduction to EPA Protocol Gases

by Francesca Celik on Jan 28, 2020

It’s often said that to be successful in life, it’s necessary to find balance. And if you are in a number of industries including energy / petrochemicals, natural gas, steel mills, cement kilns, or even aircraft engine testing, there’s nothing more true than this statement when it comes to the relationship between productivity and environmental protection. To help businesses simplify and streamline this process, there exists a version of calibration gases known as EPA Protocol Gases, which are defined by the EPA as “compressed gases used to calibrate air pollution monitors for consistent and reliable monitoring”. In other words, the EPA is helping to balance our need for energy with our need for a clean and sustainable planet.

A bit about traceability

Given their role in ensuring clean air for all, it's no wonder that a number of steps are necessary to ensure their quality. All EPA protocol gases gases should have defined traceability to NIST or equivalent and should be accompanied by documentation in the form of a Certificate of Analysis (COA). Compositional traceability is determined via two key methods:

  1. Analytical traceability: Using reference materials to calibrate the measurement system via a meticulous process that determines the concentrations of mixture components.
  2. Process traceability: The use of high sensitivity weighing systems for component additions versus the international unit of mass (Kg). These are then analyzed against primary standards with known composition and uncertainty.
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Topics: industrial gases, environment, refinery, EPA protocol gases, calibration gases, zero gases, EPA, NIST