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January 12, 2005

Calibration standards are used in a variety of applications in industry and the sciences. From the determination of NOx emissions at a cogeneration stack to the levels of volatile organics at a superfund site, calibration standards are vital to the accuracy of any determination. However, not all standards are easy to prepare or use. Specifically, the preparation of gas phase calibration standards is very challenging due to the inherent dangers that compressed gases pose. Many of the materials used in the manufacture of these standards are poisons, flammable, carcinogens, cryogenic or even pyrophoric in nature. In addition to these dangers, these materials are often pressurized to greater than 2000 pounds per square inch gauge (psig). The amount of potential energy in one cylinder of nitrogen at 2000 psi is enough to easily punch a hole in a cinder block wall. Despite the hazards associated with them, compressed gas calibration standards are in very high demand. Fortunately, the specialty gas manufactures have developed the technology required to fill this demand

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