According to a recent statement, when performing gas chromatography, a growing number of laboratory analysts are turning to ultra high purity hydrogen as a viable carrier and fuel gas for the most demanding applications.

The statement, from Air Products, adds that while helium remains the carrier gas of choice in most situations, primarily due to its inert properties and its low levels of impurities, hydrogen is increasingly being considered as a suitable carrier and fuel gas for some laboratory applications.

Gary Yates, specialty gas consultant at Air Products, said, “Even though the world’s known helium reserves are expected to last for another 300 years, industries that rely on fast and efficient gas analysis to deliver reliable measurements are already looking around for alternatives.”
“Recent technological advances which have helped to make ultra-high purity hydrogen more reliable, efficient and easier to use are certainly generating interest among volume users including laboratories and pharmaceutical businesses.”
Responding to this growing interest in hydrogen, Air Products has recently compiled research to compare the performance of ultra-high purity hydrogen (with critical impurities 100 x lower than standard grade hydrogen) with helium and nitrogen when used as a carrier gas. The tests carried out reveal that ultra-high purity hydrogen performs well – delivering reliable results, with minimal base line noise and reduced analysis time.
In addition, Air Products has recently produced a short film explaining the benefits of using hydrogen as a carrier and fuel gas www.airproducts.ie/microsite/ie/H2BIP/index.htm.  
Gary Yates added, “Using ultra-high purity BIP hydrogen for certain demanding analytical applications will significantly lower detection levels and provide an assurance of improved accuracy. For some volume users, it may bring efficiency gains too.”
“For these reasons, we are expecting to see demand for ultra-high purity hydrogen increase steadily over time, although it is unlikely to supersede demand for helium in the short to medium term.”