Essentials of gas sampling calibration


The following is a guest column by Dan McCarty, Calibration Lab Manager for Michigan-based QED Environmental Systems

Gas sampling equipment is one of the most widely used tools in medical, food processing, brewing and landfill gas (LFG) monitoring applications. Units range from gas extraction meters, gas analyzers, and carbon dioxide (CO2) analyzers, to nitrous oxide (N2O) and carbon monoxide (CO) analyzers. Proper equipment calibration is essential to ensure sample accuracy and equipment reliability, reduce equipment downtime, and eliminate safety risks.

Proper calibration ensures that the measurement samples being taken are within the analyzers’ specifications and are as accurate as possible. Calibration verifies that equipment and work spaces are within the desired gas ranges and not out of control. If users conduct a gas check with an analyzer and the ranges are not as expected, they can identify the issue and make necessary adjustments. This helps them maintain regulatory compliance and maximize the equipment’s effectiveness.

Calibration is also important for workplace safety.  For example, gas analyzer units are used to evaluate the amount of landfill gas flowing from an LFG well. Amounts above certain thresholds can cause environmental and health hazards for those working nearby. If gas analyzer units detect methane above recommended threshold levels, technicians know they need to adjust the wells to regulate the methane by opening up the wells or making other adjustments to tune the well. Since the Environmental Protection Agency regulates LFG emissions gas, analyzer equipment accuracy plays a big part in maintaining landfill compliance.

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